Russia’s attack on a Ukrainian city just hours after Moscow signed a deal to allow grain exports to start up again has been branded “appalling” and proof Vladimir Putin cannot be trusted.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the hit on the Black Sea port of Odesa was “completely unwarranted”.
The attack came just hours after Russia signed deals with Kyiv to allow grain exports to resume from the southern city.
Ms Truss said “not a word” President Vladimir Putin says can be trusted.
Speaking at a campaign event in Kent, the Tory leadership candidate said: “It is absolutely appalling that only a day after striking this deal, Vladimir Putin has launched a completely unwarranted attack on Odesa.
“It shows that not a word he says can be trusted. And we need to urgently work with our international partners to find a better way of getting the grain out of Ukraine that doesn’t involve Russia and their broken promises.”
“It’s despicable that Vladimir Putin has attacked Odesa less than 24 hours after signing the Istanbul agreements,” shadow foreign secretary David Lammy tweeted.
“This a shameless attempt to use food as a weapon of war as millions face starvation.”
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who left Odesa earlier this week, said he was “baffled by how the international community was bluffed” by Russia.
He tweeted: “Two days after I depart the city it’s attacked.
“As I said in my previous tweet – you cannot trust Russia.
“Baffled by how the international community was bluffed by Russia’s plan to re-open the port.
“More courage & leadership please from the West to help Odesa.”
The Ukrainian military said two Russian missiles hit the port’s infrastructure and Ukrainian air defences brought down two others, but did not say what damage had been caused or whether there had been casualties.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko tweeted that it had taken Russia less than 24 hours to break its promise following the agreement.
He wrote: “In case of non-fulfillment, Russia will bear full responsibility for global food crisis.”