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Explosions rock Ukrainian port hours after grain deal

Ukrainian port hit by explosions hours after grain deal. Photo: Telegraph

Ukrainian port has been hit by explosions a key Ukrainian port, just a day after Kyiv and Moscow reached a landmark deal to allow the resumption of grain exports.

According to a report by the BBC, Ukraine’s military said that two missiles hit the city of Odesa in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In a post to social media, the Ukrainian military’s southern command centre said two Kalibr missiles had hit the port, while two more had been shot down by air defence systems.

Oleksiy Honcharenko, a local MP, wrote on Telegram that the city’s port had caught fire after the strike.

But a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military’s southern command said the strike did not have a serious impact on the port.

“No significant damage was caused to the port infrastructure,” Nataliia Humeniuk said. “These are quite expensive rockets, so they are being used not too often. They are said to be highly accurate, so they hit deliberately.”

The media further reported that under the terms of Friday’s deal, Russia agreed not to target ports while grain shipments were in transit.

The report noted that Turkey’s defence minister said Russian officials had denied carrying out the strikes.

“In our contact with Russia, the Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack and that they were examining the issue very closely and in detail,” Hulusai Akar said in a short statement.

BBC reported that EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell who strongly condemned the action said the attack had shown Russia’s “total disregard” for international law.

“Striking a target crucial for grain export a day after the signature of Istanbul agreements is particularly reprehensible,” he tweeted.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unequivocally condemned the attack, saying that full implementation of the grain deal made between Russia, Ukraine and Turkey was imperative.

“These products are desperately needed to address the global food crisis and ease the suffering of millions of people in need around the globe,” a UN spokesperson added.

“These scumbags sign contracts with one hand and direct missiles with the other,” Mr Honcharenko wrote.

Editing by Abdullahi Lamino