Live: Strike on Odesa will not affect grain shipments says Russia

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Issued on: 25/07/2022 – 06:43

The Kremlin said Monday that a strike on the Ukrainian port town of Odesa would not impact grain exports as it only hit military targets. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered reassurances over Russian grain supplies to Egypt during a visit to Cairo on Sunday, amid uncertainty over a deal to resume Ukrainian exports from the Black Sea. Follow our live updates for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).


11:11am: Kremlin says strike on Odesa will not affect grain exports

The Kremlin said on Monday that a Russian missile strike against the Ukrainian port of Odesa would not affect grain exports but said the United Nations must secure the removal of curbs on Russian exports for the landmark grain deal to work.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had targeted military infrastructure in a missile strike on Saturday, just hours after Kyiv and Moscow had secured the conflict’s first diplomatic breakthrough since February in a deal to restart crucial grain exports from Ukraine.

“These strikes are connected exclusively with military infrastructure,” Peskov said. “They are in no way related to infrastructure that is used for the export of grain. This should not affect — and will not affect — the beginning of shipments.”

The hit on Odesa had raised questions about whether the deal would go ahead or if all sides would honour the agreements reached in Istanbul.

9:07am: ‘Inconclusive’ fighting continues in Donbas and Kherson says British military

Inconclusive fighting has continued in both Donbas and Kherson regions in eastern Ukraine, British military intelligence said on Monday.

Russian commanders continue to face a dilemma — whether to resource Russia’s offensive in the east, or to bolster the defence in the west, Britain’s defence ministry said on Twitter.

The ministry added in its regular bulletin that on July 18, the British intelligence identified a Russian military vehicle refit and refurbishment facility near Barvinok, in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, which is 10 kilometres (6.21 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

“At least 300 damaged vehicles were present, including main battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and general support trucks,” the update added.

8:35am: Russia waging war out of working nuclear power plant in Ukraine

Russian forces have recently been using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, near Nikopol, as a base to launch attacks, ramping up scurity concerns in surrounding areas. The power plant is the largest in Europe and has been under Russian control since March.

“Ukrainian forces can’t shoot back in case they hit the plant,” a local told FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg, reporting from Nikopol.

The Ukrainian nuclear energy agency also raised concerns about the risk of heavy military equipment and explosives being stored inside reactor buildings.


4:34am: Lavrov offers reassurance over Russian grain supplies in Cairo visit

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered reassurances over Russian grain supplies to Egypt during a visit to Cairo on Sunday, amid uncertainty over a deal to resume Ukrainian exports from the Black Sea.

Egypt is one of the world’s top wheat importers and last year bought about 80% of those imports from Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine disrupted shipments and sped up a rise in global commodity prices, delivering a financial shock to Egypt.

In its response to the war, Egypt has been torn between long-standing ties to Russia and its close relationship to Western powers that have sanctioned and sought to isolate Moscow.

Western embassies had lobbied Egypt and the Arab League ahead of Lavrov’s visit, which included talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and representatives of the Arab League.

“We reaffirmed the commitment of Russian grain exporters to meet all their commitments,” Lavrov said in a press conference with Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

The Cairo visit was the the first leg of an Africa trip that will also include stops in Ethiopia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Russia’s state-run RT television network.


© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters, AP and AFP)