Turkey’s defense minister said on Saturday Russian officials had told Ankara that Moscow had “nothing to do” with strikes on Ukraine’s 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,” Defense Minister Hulusai Akar said in a statement.
“The fact that such an incident took place right after the agreement we made yesterday really worried us,” he added.
Ukraine continues to prepare to restart grain exports from its Black Sea ports despite a Russian missile strike that hit the port of Odesa on Saturday, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.
Russian issiles hit the southern port of Odesa, the Ukrainian military said, threatening a landmark deal signed just the day before to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports and ease global food shortages caused by the war.
Friday’s export deal seeks to avert famine among tens of millions of people in poorer nations by injecting more wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer and other products into world markets including for humanitarian needs, partly at lower prices.
Under the plan signed on Friday, Ukrainian officials would guide ships through safe channels across mined waters to three ports, including Odesa, where they would be loaded with grain.
Moscow has denied responsibility for the crisis, blaming sanctions for slowing its own food and fertilizer exports and Ukraine for mining the approaches to its Black Sea ports.