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Ukraine Latest: S&P Downgrades as Kyiv Seeks Payment Freeze

A woman clears her damaged home in the Kharkiv region. Local authorities reported missile strikes in the region.

A woman clears her damaged home in the Kharkiv region. Local authorities reported missile strikes in the region.

Photographer: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

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S&P Global Ratings cut Ukraine’s credit grade on Friday after the war-ravaged nation asked foreign creditors for permission to delay payments on its external debt. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he spoke on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about a proposed swap to secure the release of two imprisoned Americans, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. 

Ukraine said it’s close to restarting grain shipments, although the timing will depend on go-ahead from the United Nations. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy traveled to the Odesa region to watch grain being loaded at the port of Chornomorsk.