German newspapers are widely commenting on the missile strike that Russian troops launched on July 23 on the port of Odessa. This happened the day after the signing in Istanbul, under the mediation of the UN and Turkey, of an agreement on the export of grain from Ukraine, which, in particular, provides for guarantees of the security of its ports.
Authorities in Kyiv said two cruise missiles hit “port infrastructure facilities.” In turn, the Russian Defense Ministry claims that as a result of the missile strike, a Ukrainian warship that was in the dock was destroyed, as well as a warehouse with Harpoon anti-ship missiles supplied by the United States.
“Moscow understands that Ukraine badly needs this agreement”
“The parties do not attack merchant ships, as well as other civilian ships and port infrastructure, which is part of this agreement,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung document signed in Istanbul was quoted, pointing to an immediate violation by Russia, which struck at port of Odessa already July 23rd.
“This sufficiently characterizes how much one can trust the regime of Vladimir Putin and his commitment to the signed agreements,” the newspaper’s observer writes. And he clarifies: “Moscow will continue to do everything to prevent export of Ukrainian grain. It is likely that the Kremlin will use a propaganda smokescreen in this case – the West should not fall into the trap and use balanced language to call on both sides to cooperate. The prospect of helping to solve the problem of the food crisis at the expense of Ukrainian grain exists only if each violation of the agreement by Russia and each of its provocations will find a loud public reaction.”
In this regard, the Munich publication Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that the shelling of Odessa was deliberate, and it proves that Vladimir Putin is openly mocking the world community and manipulating public opinion. “Moscow understands that Ukraine badly needs this agreement. But several missiles on Odessa, the launch of which The Kremlin initially denied and then admittedenough to sow maximum insecurity among Ukrainians, to anger the West, shame the UN, keep Erdoğan at bay, and possibly blackmail further lifting of sanctions.
“Defiant Show of Power”
Die Tageszeitung from Berlin also states the direct and daring violation by Moscow of the “grain” agreement signed in Istanbul and calls attack on the port of Odessa “a show of force” by which the Kremlin wants to show that the signatures under the documents do not tie his hands.
“There are still people who consider it possible to achieve peace with Russia through negotiations. Rockets on Odessa once again show that this is a wrong path. Not a single agreement with the current regime in Moscow is reliable. Moscow’s cynical game has been known since Syria and the war in the Donbass of 2014-15. Moscow’s diplomatic guarantees are immediately followed by a clear military demonstration in the exact opposite of what was agreed, knowing full well that nothing will come of it – after all, the other side is striving for peace, “adds the columnist for the Berlin edition .
And he comes to the conclusion that the Ukrainian side, being a hostage of the situation, has no other choice but to hope for this agreement, although Russia neglects it. “The UN makes the same mistake in Ukraine as in Syria: the organization seeks humanitarian agreements through negotiations, but relies on the goodwill of Russia in the issue of their implementation. And if Russia does not demonstrate such goodwillthen they don’t respond.
So in the case of Odessa, UN representatives mumble something indistinct. There is no doubt that soon we will hear another request to Putin, could he, out of the kindness of his soul, refrain from this or that war crime,” the columnist Die Tageszeitung sneers.
“Ukraine will not be safe until Putin is stopped”
The Leipziger Volkszeitung also warns against illusions. “Putin is mocking the world community. Ukraine will never be safe as long as its current owner is in the Kremlin. If he is not stopped,” the publication’s columnist believes. And predicts: “He (Putin. – Red.) will continue to put everyone before the fact with the help of bombs. That is why Ukraine needs to defend itself additional arms shipments. The fact that Germany has not yet been able to supply Poland with tanks as part of the agreed “circular supply” as compensation for Polish deliveries to Ukraine is shameful.
The country attacked by Russia simply does not have time for such vaudeville. The federal government must fulfill its obligations to Poland as soon as possible, as well as immediately prepare and send to Ukraine every tank of the Bundeswehr that the German army does not need yet,” we read in a comment on the pages of the Leipziger Volkszeitung.
“Enough of imaginary neutrality”
Der Tagesspiegel from Berlin, reviewing the attack on the port of Odessa in the context of the “grain” agreement, reflects on how to further increase the pressure on the Kremlin. The reviewer of the publication draws attention to countries that have so far pretended that they remain neutral on the issue of Russian aggression and refrain from condemning it.
“German and European foreign policy has so far been too strongly guided by the principle that it is better to lure countries from the “neither yours nor ours” camp to their side with various “goodies” so that they do not turn away completely and take the side of the opponent.
Within the framework of such a policy, they are careful not to put pressure on those who maneuver. Russia or China can offer fewer benefits (to states that demonstrate neutrality – Ed.) than Berlin or Brussels. But they threaten the openly opposing countries with negative consequences. Why not respond to this pressure?” asks a columnist for the Berlin edition.
As an example of a country that still continues to maneuver so as not to lose profitable cooperation with Russia, Der Tagesspiegel cites primarily India. However, with European countries it is worth raising the issue more harshly, we read on the pages of the capital’s newspaper. “Such EU candidates as Serbia should be told: those who are on the side of Putin, we are not negotiating accession with those,” sums up Der Tagesspiegel.