Guterres has stated Ukrainian grain was 'desperately wanted to deal with the worldwide meals disaster'

Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) - Russian missiles hit Ukraine's port of Odessa Saturday, in what Kyiv known as a "spit within the face" of a day-old deal between the warring sides to renew cereal exports blocked by the battle.

The Ukrainian navy stated its air defences had shot down two cruise missiles however two extra hit the port, threatening the landmark settlement hammered out over months of negotiations aimed toward relieving a worldwide meals disaster.

The Ukrainian international ministry spokesman stated the strike was "a spit within the face" by Russian chief Vladimir Putin in opposition to the deal brokered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres.

Guterres -- who presided over the signing ceremony on Friday -- "unequivocally" condemned the reported assault on Odessa, his deputy spokesman stated, and urged all sides persist with the deal to permit grain exports.

"These merchandise are desperately wanted to deal with the worldwide meals disaster and ease the struggling of thousands and thousands of individuals in want across the globe," he stated.

The EU's international coverage chief Josep Borrell immediately blamed Russia for the strikes.

"Placing a goal essential for grain export a day after the signature of (the) Istanbul agreements is especially reprehensible and once more demonstrates Russia's complete disregard for worldwide legislation and commitments," he stated.

20 million tonnes of wheat

There was no speedy response from Moscow after the assault.

Ukrainian international ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko stated Russia would bear "full accountability for deepening the worldwide meals disaster" if the assault jeopardised the settlement.

The primary main accord between the international locations because the February invasion of Ukraine goals to ease the "acute starvation" that the United Nations says faces a further 47 million folks due to the battle.

Hostility between Moscow and Kyiv had spilled over into Friday's signing ceremony in Istanbul -- delayed briefly by disputes concerning the show of flags across the desk and Ukraine's refusal to place its title on the identical doc because the Russians.

Ukraine had entered the ceremony by bluntly warning that it could conduct "a right away navy response" ought to Russia violate the settlement and assault its ships or stage an incursion round its ports.

The 2 sides ultimately inked separate however equivalent agreements within the presence Guterres and Erdogan at Istanbul's lavish Dolmabahce Palace.

Guterres, moments earlier than the signing, hailed the settlement as "a beacon of hope".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later stated the accountability for implementing the deal would fall to the United Nations, which together with Turkey is a co-guarantor of the settlement.

The settlement consists of factors on operating Ukrainian grain ships alongside protected corridors that keep away from recognized mines within the Black Sea.

Hundreds of individuals have been killed and thousands and thousands displaced from their properties since Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

Enormous portions of wheat and different grain have additionally been blocked in Ukrainian ports by Russian warships and landmines Kyiv has laid to avert a feared amphibious assault.

Zelensky stated that round 20 million tonnes of produce from final yr's harvest and the present crop could be exported beneath the settlement, estimating the worth of Ukraine's grain shares at round $10 billion.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu advised Kremlin state media he anticipated the deal to start out working "within the subsequent few days" though diplomats anticipate grain to solely begin totally flowing by mid-August.

America and Britain hailed the accord however urged Moscow to abide by its guidelines.

Strikes on central Ukraine

The ornate halls of Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace felt far faraway from east Ukraine's Donbas battle zone on one other day of relentless shelling throughout the entrance.

Russia is attempting to combat deeper into the battle zone's Donetsk area after securing full management of neighbouring Lugansk.

Russian missile strikes on railway infrastructure and a navy airfield within the central space of Kirovograd on Saturday killed a minimum of three folks and wounded 16 extra, regional governor Andriy Raikovych stated.

No less than one of many lifeless was a serviceman, he stated earlier, in a uncommon admission of a navy casualty in a battle by which navy deaths have been carefully guarded by either side.

On Friday, the USA signed off on one other $270 million in navy help to Ukraine, together with rocket programs, artillery ammunition and armoured command posts.

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