US says Russian attack on Ukrainian port ‘undermines’ Kremlin’s credibility

AA / Washington / Michael Hernandez

Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, just a day after a long-awaited grain export deal was signed, “undermines” Moscow’s credibility, the State Department said on Monday.

Spokesman Ned Price said Saturday’s strike only further erodes “the expanded humanitarian commitment Russia made” when it struck a deal to resume food exports from three ports key Ukrainians in the Black Sea, including that of Odessa.

“It also highlights, in our view, that Moscow continues to behave in a way that intentionally prevents desperately needed food from reaching the world’s poorest, those who suffer most from the effects of food insecurity. that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated,” he told reporters.

“We are lucid about the future, but we also continue to hope that the Black Sea agreement will be implemented. We know that the whole world will watch the situation,” he added, stressing that the deal “must endure” to alleviate world hunger.

On Friday, Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed a historic agreement for the resumption of grain exports through the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhni, after months of blockage due to war. of Russia against Ukraine, which is in its sixth month.

As part of the agreement, a joint coordination center has been set up in Istanbul to carry out port entry and exit inspections, and to ensure route security.

Russia claimed its weekend strike on Odessa targeted military infrastructure, saying the attacks destroyed a Ukrainian warship and US-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “unequivocally” condemned the attack, saying “all parties” to Friday’s pact “have made clear commitments at the international level to ensure the safe delivery of Ukrainian cereals and related products to world markets.”

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj

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