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Istanbul grain accords do not bar Russia from continuing operation in Ukraine — Lavrov

According to the top diplomat, the targets of the strike were a Ukrainian Navy combat boat and a munitions depot holding recently delivered Harpoon anti-ship missiles

OYO /Republic of the Congo/, July 25. /TASS/. Russia’s commitments under the grain agreements reached in Istanbul do not bar it from continuing its special military operation in Ukraine, which fact has been confirmed by the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday after his visit to the Republic of the Congo.

"Our Western colleagues have developed the skills of presenting any news in a twisted way, in a way that will facilitate its use against Russia. It is no surprise for me. As for the episode <…> in Odessa, there is nothing in the labilities Russia undertook, including under the agreements signed on July 22 in Istanbul, that can bar us from continuing the special military operation and hit military infrastructure and other military targets," he said. "And the United Nations secretariat representatives, by the way, if I take it right, confirmed this interpretation of the documents yesterday."

According to Lavrov, following Russia’ strike at the Odessa port’s military infrastructure, the Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles pose no threat to Russia. "As for the targets hit by high-precision weapons, they are located in a separate part of the Odessa port, the so-called military part. And the targets were a Ukrainian Navy combat boat and a munitions depot holding recently delivered Harpoon anti-ship missiles. These missiles were delivered to pose threats to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Now, they pose no threats," he said.

Apart from that, the Russian top diplomat stressed that there are no obstacles for shipments of grain in accordance with the Istanbul agreements. "Objective experts confirmed what we have been saying from the very beginning - that the Odessa port’s grain terminal is located far from the military part and there are no obstacles for shipping grain to contractors under the Istanbul agreements and we have created none," he stressed.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov earlier reported that Russian forces had delivered a strike by precision weapons against the premises of the ship repair plant in Odessa, destroying a warship in the dock and a depot of US-supplied Harpoon missiles. The strike incapacitated the enterprise’s production capacities for the repair and upgrade of the Ukrainian Navy’s ships, the general added.

A package of documents geared to resolve the problem of food and fertilizer supplies on global markets was signed on July 22 in Istanbul. Under the Russia-UN memorandum, the United Nations undertakes to work toward lifting anti-Russian restrictions hampering exports of agricultural products and fertilizers. Another document envisages a mechanism of exporting grain from Ukraine-controlled Black Sea ports. An agreement between Russia, Turkey and the United Nations provides for the establishment of a four-side coordination center to search ships carrying grain to prevent weapons smuggling and avoid provocations.