World leaders breathed a little easier Thursday because the Black Sea grain deal was extended for another 120 days. Without a deal in place, millions around the world could starve.
In July, Ukraine and Russia reached separate deals with the United Nations to export grain and other agricultural products through a protected corridor in the Black Sea. Since then, more than 11 million tons of supplies have been shipped through the corridor. News of the deal’s extension brought wheat futures prices down more than 2% on Chicago’s Board of Trade.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who helped broker the original grain deal, welcomed news of its extension. He said the benefits of the agreement for the food supply and security of the world are evident.
The success of the Black Sea grain deal is one of the only diplomatic wins to come from Russia’s almost 10-month-old war with Ukraine. Also on Thursday, Russia launched another missile barrage against Ukraine.
People in Odessa, Kyiv and Dnipro tried to go about their daily lives while rockets rained down on them from above. Ukrainian leaders said Thursday’s barrage was not as severe as the one Russia launched earlier this week.
At least two people were killed and around 20 injured as a result of Thursday’s strikes. A defense plant and several gas production facilities were damaged or destroyed. Ukraine’s largest energy provider said long-term energy outages could last for days in some regions.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s head of staff said the attacks were “a naïve tactic by cowardly losers,” and that Ukraine “would crush them.”
Reuters contributed to this report.