Erdoğan regrets Russian attack on Odesa seaport, but urges Ukraine to proceed with grain agreement

26 July, 11:32 AM
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo:Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo:Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Ukraine and Russia should continue with a recently struck grain agreement, despite Russia’s bombing of an Odesa seaport the day after the agreement’s signing, Turkish outlet TRT Haber reported on July 25.  

The Turkish leader noted that the breakdown of the agreement "will redound to all of us." 

"We see how delicate the process still is in connection with the attack on the port of Odesa on Saturday," Erdoğan said. 

“We didn't want it, but it happened. We expect everyone to do their part of the operation. Its failure will turn against us all.” 

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Russia attacked the Odesa seaport with Kalibr missiles on July 23. Two of them hit infrastructure facilities, while two more were shot down by air defense forces. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called Russia's attack on the Odesa port "Putin [spitting] in the face of Guterres and Erdogan." According to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko, the aggressor country took less than 24 hours to violate the agreements. 

Ukraine and Russia signed separate but mirrored agreements proposed by the UN and Turkey, to allow Ukrainian grain exports on July 22. The agreement would partially lift the Russian blockade for three Ukrainian ports - specifically the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi. Control over the ports will remain with the Ukrainian side. No other ships, except those that will ensure the export of grain and related products, would be able to enter the ports. 

The Russian side initially claimed that it had nothing to do with the missile attack on the Odesa port and was "studying this issue in detail." 

Later, on July 24, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova admitted that Russia had committed the attack, but maintained that it was a Ukrainian military boat that was struck, despite the fact that the missiles hit the port itself, and not a docked vessel.

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