Russia’s Targeting of Grain Depots and Infrastructure in Odessa: Ukrainian Presidency Raises Concerns

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Port targeting

Russia hit Ukrainian ports on Tuesday, a day after pulling out of a UN-backed deal to allow Kiev to export grain, as Moscow announced territorial gains in aarea that Ukrainian officials said Russian forces were attacking again.

Russia says it has bombed an Odessa fuel depot and a sea drone factory as part of ‘massive retaliatory attacks’ in response to Ukrainian attacks that destroyed its land bridge to Crimea, according to Reuters.

Shortly after touching the bridge on Monday, Moscow withdrew from a year-old grain export deal brokered by the United Nations, in a move the world body said risked worsening hunger in Worldwide.

The deal to export grain across the Black Sea brokered by Turkey and the United Nations a year ago was the only diplomatic success during the war, as it lifted the Russian blockade on Ukrainian ports and averted a global food emergency.

Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest exporters of wheat, along with other food products, and if Ukrainian wheat does not return to the market,

Prices may go up in around the world, harming the poorest countries.

G20 position

A number of G20 members condemned Russia’s move in a group meeting on Tuesday, but India, the host of the meeting, has said it will not

Unable to reach consensus due to objections from China and Russia.

Moscow has rejected calls by Ukraine to allow shipping to resume without Russian participation, and the Kremlin has openly stated that ships entering the region without guarantees would be at risk.

Russia says it could return to the grain deal, but not before implementing its calls to ease rules on its food and fertilizer exports.

While Western countries see in this is a manipulation of the food supply issue to push for the reduction of the financial sanctions that already allow Russia to sell food.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has called for the continuation of the grain deal without Russia and is scrambling to enlist Turkey’s support to lift the Russian blockade. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sponsor of the deal, says he believes he can persuade Moscow to return.

Any attempt to resume Ukrainian grain exports without Russia’s participation depends on insurance companies agreeing to provide cover. Insurance sources told Reuters they were studying the implications.

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