Latest in Ukraine: The grain deal is out, cluster bombs and NATO expansion are in

Efforts are being made to restore the Ukraine grain deal, further NATO expansion continues, and use of controversial cluster bombs includes the latest key developments in Ukraine.

What to watch: Turkish officials aim to restore the grain deal involving Ukraine after Russia suspended its participation.
* The deal, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations allows Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea, its suspension could potentially increase global food prices.
* Concerns over a blast on a key bridge linking Russia to the Crimea Peninsula are also being closely watched, as Russia blames Ukraine, although it has not claimed responsibility.

Notable last week highlights: During the NATO summit in Lithuania, Ukraine received assurances for long-term backing from the U.S. and other allies, despite not getting a timeline for its membership.
* Sweden’s NATO membership was cleared by Turkey, preparing for a further NATO expansion following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
* The U.S. is considering proceeding with the sale of F-16s to Turkey contingent on congressional approval, following Turkey’s agreement to Sweden’s NATO bid.
* Ukraine received cluster bombs from the U.S. despite being banned due to their danger to civilians in over 100 countries.

The state of play: Among other developments, the Wagner Group mercenaries from Russia agreed to train Belarusian soldiers after an attempted mutiny in Russia.
* Critics claim that both Russia and Ukraine have used cluster munitions in the ongoing conflict.
* Upcoming U.N. General Assembly debate will tackle the situation of Ukraine’s occupied territories.

View original article on NPR

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