Ship boat

Turkey detains Russian freighter amid claims of grain stolen from Ukraine

Turkish customs authorities have stopped a Russian cargo ship carrying grain which Ukraine says was stolen.

Reuters reported on Sunday that Ukraine had asked Turkey to detain the ship, which is called Zhibek Zholy.

“We are fully cooperating. The ship is currently at the entrance to the port, it has been detained by the customs authorities of Turkey,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar told Ukrainian state television, according to information. exit. The ambassador said Ukraine hopes the grain will be removed from the ship.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian officials have accused the country of stealing its grain and trying to sell it abroad. In May, the United States warned African countries against buying grain stolen from the Eastern European country.

Turkish officials stopped a Russian cargo ship carrying grain which Ukraine says was stolen. Above, cargo ships wait in the Black Sea to enter the Sulina Channel on June 4 in Sulina, Romania.
Andreea Campeanu

Ukraine also issued a similar warning to foreign countries that month.

“Russian thieves steal Ukrainian grain, load it onto ships, cross the Bosphorus and try to sell it abroad. I call on all states to remain vigilant and refuse such offers. Do not buy what was robbed. Do not become accomplices in Russian crimes. Robbery has never brought luck to anyone,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on May 24.

In its Sunday report, Reuters quoted an unnamed Ukrainian source as saying that 4,500 tons of grain on the detained vessel had been taken from Berdyansk, a Russian-occupied port city.

On June 30, Radio Free Europe reported that a freighter carrying 7,000 tons of grain had left Berdyansk. Yevhen Balytskiy, a Russian official appointed by Moscow to administer the occupied region, reportedly said the ship was leaving for “friendly countries”.

News of Turkey’s detention of the Russian cargo ship also comes less than a month after Bodnar accused Turkey of buying grain that Russia stole.

Newsweek contacted the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries for comments.

Last week, Russian troops withdrew from Snake Island in the Black Sea, which could ease the departure of Ukrainian grain exports from the port city of Odessa.

Together, Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the world’s wheat and barley, according to the United Nations. Ukraine has also worked with the UN to transport grain past Russian blockades in the Black Sea.

“Russia is playing hunger games with the world by blocking Ukrainian food exports with one hand and trying to blame Ukraine with the other. Ukraine is working on an international operation led by the with partner navies ensuring a safe trade route without security risks,” Kuleba tweeted on May 31.