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Russia says Odesa strikes should not hamper grain export deal

In this photo provided by the Odesa City Hall Press Office, firefighters put out a fire in a port after a Russian missiles attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Saturday, June 5, 2022. (Odesa City Hall Press Office via AP)
In this photo provided by the Odesa City Hall Press Office, firefighters put out a fire in a port after a Russian missiles attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Saturday, June 5, 2022. (Odesa City Hall Press Office via AP)

The Kremlin says that Russian strikes on Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa “should not affect” a UN-brokered deal between Moscow and Kyiv to unblock grain exports.

“This cannot and should not affect the start of shipment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells  reporters, two days after Moscow hit the port.

He said Moscow’s strikes targeted “exclusively” military infrastructure and were “not connected with the agreement on the export of grain.”

The weekend strikes on Odesa came less than a day after Moscow and Kyiv signed a landmark deal to release grain exports from Ukraine’s ports.

Western countries denounced the move, with the US saying it cast “serious doubt” on Russia’s commitment to the deal.

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