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Turkey says Russia has denied attacking Ukrainian Odesa port

ANI | Updated: Jul 24, 2022 00:27 IST

Istanbul [Turkey], July 24 (ANI): Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusai Akar said that the Russian officials have told them that they have nothing to do with the strike on the Ukrainian Odesa port.
"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," the Turkish Defence Minister said in a statement.
"The fact that such an incident took place right after the agreement we made yesterday really worried us," he said as quoted by Al Jazeera.
Earlier, Serhii Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa military administration said that two missiles hit the infrastructure of the port and two were shot down by Ukraine's air defence.
As many as six explosions were heard in Odesa, according to CNN citing Ukrainian member of parliament Oleksiy Goncharenko.
This attack came one day after Ukraine and Russian ministers signed an agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul, to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports aimed at easing the global food crisis sparked by the war.
"That's all you need to know about deals with Russia," Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas added on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said that the bloc "strongly condemns" the attack.
"Striking a target crucial for grain export a day after the signature of Istanbul agreements is particularly reprehensible and again demonstrates Russia's total disregard for international law and commitments," Borrell said in a tweet.
"Russia agreed to some deal on grain export, but immediately after this attacked it -- showing they want to continue to threaten the world's food security," Ukrainian member of parliament Oleksiy Goncharenko told CNN.
"There will be new campaigns where [Putin] will definitely attack Odesa and the only answer of the world for this is to give weaponry to Ukraine - finally to give Ukraine long-range missiles, fighters. And that is the only answer for this aggression from Putin and to restore international order," he added.
Earlier, on Friday, a deal was reached between Ukraine and Russia where Russia promised to unblock ports on the Black Sea to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds, some of Ukraine's most important exports.
Russia has so far been blocking maritime access to those ports, meaning that millions of tons of Ukrainian grain have not been exported to the many countries that rely on it, according to CNN.
"Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope -- a beacon of possibility -- a beacon of relief -- in a world that needs it more than ever," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday at the signing ceremony, which was attended by Ukrainian and Russian ministers.
After the deal was sealed, the UN Secretary-General said, "The agreement signed today by Ukraine, the Russian Federation & Turkiye under UN auspices opens a path for commercial food exports from Ukraine in the Black Sea. It will help avoid a food shortage catastrophe for millions worldwide. It is a beacon of hope, possibility and relief." (ANI)