Ukraine forged ahead with efforts to restart grain exports from its Black Sea ports under a deal aimed at easing global food shortages but warned deliveries would suffer if a Russian missile strike on Odesa was a sign of more to come.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy denounced Saturday’s attack as “barbarism” showing Moscow could not be trusted to implement a deal struck a day earlier with Turkish and United Nations mediation.
The Ukrainian military, quoted by public broadcaster Suspilne, said the Russian missiles did not hit the port’s grain storage area or cause significant damage. Kyiv said preparations to resume grain shipments were ongoing.
“We continue technical preparations for the launch of exports of agricultural products from our ports,” Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a Facebook post.
The Ukrainian military said two Kalibr missiles fired from Russian warships hit the area of a pumping station at the port and two others were shot down by air defence forces.
Russia said on Sunday its forces had hit a Ukrainian warship and a weapons store in Odesa with precision missiles.
The deal signed by Moscow and Kyiv on Friday was hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough that would help curb soaring global food prices by restoring Ukrainian grain shipments to pre-war levels of 5 million tonnes a month.
But Zelenskiy’s economic advisor, Oleh Ustenko, told Ukrainian television the strike “indicates that it will definitely not work like that”.