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'Putin Spits in the Face of UN, Turkey,' Says Ukraine After Odessa Attack

Russia and Ukriane, on Friday, signed deals with Turkey and UN to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports

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Following the attack of Russian missiles on the port city of Odessa on Saturday, 23 July, Ukraine came down heavily on Russia and said it would be responsible for the global food crisis if their deal to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports was broken.

"The Russian missile (strike) is (Russian President) Vladimir Putin's spit in the face of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep (Tayyip) Erdogan, who made enormous efforts to reach the agreement," Oleg Nikolenko, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, reported AFP.

Further in a tweet, Nikolenko said, "It took less than 24 hours for Russia to launch a missile attack on Odesa's port, breaking its promises and undermining its commitments before the UN and Turkey under the Istanbul agreement. In case of non-fulfillment, Russia will bear full responsibility for global food crisis."

On Saturday, Russia reportedly attacked the Odessa sea trade port with Kalibr cruise missiles. While two missiles hit infrastructure at the port, two others were shot down by air defense forces, said Ukraine's Operational Command South said via Telegram, reported The Indian Express.

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Background

In a landmark move amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukriane, the two nations on Friday, 22 July, signed separate agreements with Turkey and the United Nations (UN) on Friday, 22 July, to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports.

The 'Black Sea Initiative,' which will enable Ukraine to export 22 million grain and other agricultural products, is expected to ease the international food crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The deal makes provisions for the grain-carrying ships to undergo inspections and ensure that they are not carrying weapons. A control centre established in Istanbul will be staffed by UN, Turkish, Russian, and Ukrainian officials to control the process.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. The war is currently focused on the Donbas region in the eastern part of the country.

(With inputs from AFP.)

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