He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] simply cannot be trusted.Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) in a statement on Russia’s attack of a major Ukrainian port — just hours after agreements signed separately by both Russia and Ukraine to allow exports to safely leave Ukrainian ports.
Why It Matters: Less than 24 hours after Russia and Ukraine signed parallel agreements aimed at ensuring the safe passage of food exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, Russia attacked Ukraine's largest sea port — and the only one still held by Ukraine.
- The agreements — brokered by the United Nations and Turkey — had brought hope that food exports could once again leave Ukraine after a "months-long blockade of dozens of Ukrainian ports" due to the Russian invasion.
- The safe corridors provided by the agreement — which is still in effect — would help to alleviate concern over a global food crisis, as Ukraine is one of the world's largest producers of wheat.
- While U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "unequivocally" condemned the attacks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Larvov said the attacks did not violate the agreements signed Friday since they were strikes "in the so-called military part of the Odesa port."
What's Next? Despite Russia's apparent violation of the agreement signed Friday, Adviser to the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Markiyan Dmytrasevych said on Monday: "We expect that, as announced, despite the incident that happened on Saturday, [export of grain] will start in the coming days."
Ukraine and Russia Agreement on Exporting Grain (SmartHER News)
Smith Condemns Russian Strikes on Odesa (House Armed Services Committee)
by Jenna Lee,