(Bloomberg) — Russian President Vladimir Putin met in St. Petersburg with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. In comments broadcast on Russian TV, Lukashenko discussed the Wagner militia fighters now assembling en masse in Belarus, saying they have asked him “for permission” to “go on a trip to Warsaw,” adding “of course I am keeping them in central Belarus, like we agreed.”

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The comments were the latest provocative remarks by Russia or its ally about NATO member Poland, which has recently reinforced its border with Belarus with additional troops. Putin on Friday claimed that Polish authorities were considering seizing parts of western Ukraine — a comment that saw Poland summon Russia’s ambassador. Lukashenko on Sunday similarly referenced “the dismemberment of Ukraine and the transfer of lands to Poland.”

Russia unleashed a missile barrage against Odesa overnight, the largest in a string of almost daily strikes after Moscow pulled out of the UN-brokered Ukrainian grain export deal on July 17. The attack damaged port infrastructure, houses and other buildings, including parts of the city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage location. A total of 19 missiles were launched by Kremlin forces, with air defense able to shoot down nine. “There will definitely be a retaliation to Russian terrorists for Odesa. They will feel this retaliation,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a Twitter post.

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Markets

Wheat Slumps as Traders Shrug Off Ukraine Angst

Wheat futures fell more than 4% on Friday, taking a breather after surging about 11% over three days as traders focused on ample global supplies even amid continued tensions in the Black Sea.

Both Ukraine and Russia warned this week that ships headed to each other’s ports could be considered military targets, setting off alarm bells. Friday’s comments by Russia’s deputy foreign minister suggested the worst of the worries were overblown.

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