Ukraine Recap: Russia Strikes Danube River Port Before Key Talks

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(Bloomberg) -- Russia launched waves of Shahed loitering drones overnight aimed at port facilities and other infrastructure in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region. Ukrainian media reported explosions and a fire in Reni, a major Danube River port near the Romanian border. NATO member Romania confirmed a strike on Reni’s port infrastructure, calling it a “deep contradiction with the rules of international humanitarian law.”

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Russia continues to target ports “in a hope that they will be able to provoke food crisis and hunger in the world,” Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukraine’s president, said on Telegram. The strikes came a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are scheduled to meet in Sochi, Russia. Turkey’s leader is expected to attempt to persuade Putin to rejoin the Black Sea grain deal that Russia abandoned in July.

A fire was reported Sunday at an oil depot in St. Petersburg, with images on social media showing the area blanketed by thick smoke. No cause has been announced. Russia said it downed a drone over the Belgorod region north of the Ukrainian border. Ukraine’s president spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, including about “ways to ensure the functioning of the grain corridor and enhance the security of the Odesa region,” Volodmyr Zelenskiy said in X, formerly Twitter.

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Wheat traders are watching for movement on Black Sea grain exports when Putin and Erdogan meet on Monday in Sochi. Ukraine, meanwhile, is pushing back on an effort by Poland and four other EU countries to extend a ban on its grain. A meeting on the topic is scheduled for Tuesday in Brussels.

Oil prices surged above $85 as a months-long effort by OPEC+ to reduce supplies gripped the physical market and China showed a new resolve to bolster its economy, a key engine of global crude consumption.

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