Ukraine summoned the Turkish ambassador after it said Turkey had allowed a Russian-flagged ship carrying what it claimed were thousands of tons of stolen Ukrainian grain to leave the port of Karasu.
“We regret that the Russian ship Zybek Zuli, laden with stolen Ukrainian grain, was allowed to leave the port of Karasu despite the forensic evidence presented to the Turkish authorities,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko. “The ambassador of Turkey in Kyiv will be invited to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to clarify this unacceptable situation.”
Turkish customs officials seized the ship At Ukraine’s request on Tuesday, after Kyiv said the shipment was illegally transporting 7,000 tons of grain from the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk in southeastern Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, confirmed that the ship was flying the Russian flag, but it appeared to be muddy water while saying that the Kremlin was seeking to clarify the matter. “The ship is really flying the Russian flag, but I think it belongs to Kazakhstan and the cargo was transported under a contract between Estonia and turkeyLavrov told reporters on Monday.
Kyiv has been accused Russia The theft of more than 600 thousand tons of grain from the occupied Ukrainian lands for sale on international markets. Ukrainian grain exports are responsible for approximately 15% of the world total.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and Moscow’s control of Ukraine’s grain exit routes into the Black Sea have caused a global food crisis that threatens to push the worst-affected countries into starvation.
Turkey, with the Bosphorus, is a major transit route for shipping out of the Black Sea. Ukraine has sought to pressure Ankara to stop Russian shipments of its grain, a vital source of revenue.
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