ANKARA, July 23. /TASS/. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday that Russia was not involved in a bombardment of Odessa’s seaport.
"In contacts that we had today with Russia, it was stated that it had nothing to do with the attack. They are thoroughly investigating the incident," Turkey’s military agency quoted him as saying.
According to the Turkish top military official, following the incident he held phone talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Alexey Reznikov and Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Alexander Kubrakov who signed an agreement on grain exports in Istanbul on Friday. "We received the necessary information. They reported the fact of a rocket attack on one of the loading stations at the port, there were no negative consequences," he said.
"We are concerned that this incident happened immediately following the signing of the agreement on grain exports yesterday," the Turkish defense minister said.
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, Ukraine 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.