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grainy diplomacy

Ukraine grain deal gets extended amid continuing Russian attacks

The Ukraine grain deal, which allows grain shipments from Ukrainian ports to pass through the Black Sea safely amid its war with Russia, was extended another 120 days on Thursday. The deal was originally set to expire on Saturday. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres commented that the deal represents the "importance of discreet diplomacy in finding multilateral solutions," Axios reports

The grain deal was created in July to help with the worsening food crisis. Ukraine is one of the world's largest producers of grain and corn earning the title of "Europe's breadbasket." Russia had previously moved to suspend the deal after one of its naval ships was attacked on the Black Sea, which the country blamed on Ukraine. Russia rejoined the deal just a few days later after the U.N. and Turkey intervened. 

However, as the deal is extended, Russia continues to strike Ukrainian energy facilities. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked that Russia "felt that the world would not accept Moscow refusing to extend the agreement." However, he added that the country "continues to ignore global calls for de-escalation ... raining down scores of missiles on infrastructure across Ukraine."

The most recent attack killed four people and injured two others, reports The Associated Press. The country is opting for aerial attacks as a result of recent losses in the ongoing war, the largest being its retreat from Kherson City. Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine's presidential office, called the attacks "naive tactics of cowardly losers," adding that, "Ukraine has already withstood extremely difficult strikes by the enemy, which did not lead to results the Russian cowards hoped for."