UN: Russia may not have violated the Istanbul agreement (updated)

The United Nations admits that, perhaps, by hitting the Odessa port with rockets, the Russian Federation did not violate the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain, signed in Istanbul.

According to The New York Times, citing an unnamed source in the organization, “technically, Russia may not have violated dealbecause it has not committed itself to avoiding attacks on those parts of Ukrainian ports that are not directly used for grain exports.”

In the same time NYT quotes Mykola Solsky, Minister of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine:

“If you attack a port, you attack everything. You use the same infrastructure for oil, for grain. It affects everything – no matter what you get into.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, confirmed the Russian attack on the port of Odessa. Department speaker Maria Zakharova says:

“Kalibr missiles destroyed the military infrastructure of the Odessa port, sending a Ukrainian military boat to the address beloved by the Kyiv regime with a high-precision strike.”

This is the first official confirmation by the Russian Federation of a strike on the port. Earlier, Ankara stated that the Russian Defense Ministry denied that the missiles were fired by the Russian army.

The armed forces of the Russian Federation struck a shipyard in Odessa and disabled the facilities of the enterprise for the repair and modernization of Ukrainian ships. About this on Sunday, July 24, declared official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declared, that the UN dissociated itself from the comment of an unnamed official about the alleged right of the Russians to shoot at the port of Odessa, if the targets being fired are not involved in the export of grain. Oleg Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, spoke about this, writes Evropeyska Pravda. Nikolenko commented on The New York Times publication on the matter, calling it “provocative”:

“A seemingly unnamed source at the UN claims that the Russian Federation did not technically violate the grain agreement signed in Istanbul with a missile attack on the port of Odessa. They say Russia did not promise not to shell those parts of Ukrainian ports that are not directly involved in the export of grain. To put it mildly, this is our position surprised.”

He stressed that the words of an unnamed official are discordant with the statement of Secretary General António Guterres, who unequivocally condemned the shelling of the Odessa port. The international community was also unanimous, clearly pointing out Russia’s violation of its obligations in the framework of ensuring the safe functioning of the port infrastructure for grain exports, Nikolenko added. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry immediately turned to the UN leadership for clarification and today received an assurance that the unofficial comment by an “unnamed source” for The New York Times does not reflect the position of the UN.

“Only the statement of Secretary General Guterres reflects the position of the organization,” said Oleg Nikolenko. “That’s the trouble with these unnamed sources: they launched a provocative narrative, but there is no responsibility. It was done intentionally or unintentionally – the question is open.”

Recall that after Russia shelled the port of Odessa with Caliber missiles on the morning of July 23, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement in which he unconditionally condemned the attack. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink called the missile attack on the port of Odessa unacceptable, saying the Kremlin continues to use food as a weapon.

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