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Exclusive: Ukraine requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship it says carrying Ukrainian grain

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Exclusive: Ukraine requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship it says carrying Ukrainian grain


Workers store grain at a wharf during the barley harvest in the Odessa region as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues on June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Igor Tkachenko

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Ukraine says ships suspected of illegally exporting grain

LONDON/ISTANBUL, July 1 (Reuters) – Ukraine has asked Turkey to detain and arrest the Russian-flagged cargo ship “Zhibek Zholy” carrying cargo from a Russian-occupied ship, according to a Ukrainian official and documents seen. Ukrainian grains from the port of Berdyansk. Reuters.

The 7,146-dwt Zhibek Zholy carried the first cargo of about 4,500 tons of grain from Berdyansk, which officials said belonged to Ukraine, Ukrainian foreign ministry officials said, citing information received from the country’s maritime administration.

In a June 30 letter to the Turkish Ministry of Justice, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, Zhibek Zholy was involved in the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” from Berdyansk and carried 7,000 tons of goods to Karasu, Turkey, a more Larger goods than the official citation.

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The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office asked Turkey to “examine the vessel at sea, seize grain samples for forensic examination, and request information on the location of such grains,” the letter said, adding that Ukraine was prepared to conduct a joint investigation with Turkey. Turkish authorities.

On Thursday, a Russian official in the Russian-occupied zone of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region said the first cargo ship, without naming the Zhibek Zholy, had left the port of Berdyansk after several months of shutdown.

Kremlin officials in Moscow did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing food from territory occupied by Russian troops since the invasion began in late February. The Kremlin has previously denied that Russia stole any Ukrainian food.

Turkey’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kazakhstan-based KTZ Express confirmed to Reuters that Zhibek Zholy was owned by the company, but said it was chartered by the Russian company Green-Line on a bare-boat charter — with no crew or supplies involved at the time. Sanctions.

KTZ Express added that it is consulting relevant parties and will comply with all sanctions and restrictions. The Green Wire request for comment could not be found immediately.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry official added that the ship was heading for the Turkish port of Karasu.

Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed on Friday that the ship reported where it broke down near the port of Karasu. Data shows it crossed the Black Sea from near Crimea. It did not list Berdyansk as a destination within the past 48 hours — but the tracking data relied on transponders updating its location.

Earlier this month, Russia’s defense minister said the Ukrainian ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol, which are controlled by Russian troops, were ready to resume food shipments.

Western countries have accused Russia of creating the risk of global famine by preventing Ukraine from exporting food through its Black Sea ports. Moscow denies responsibility for the international food crisis, blaming Western sanctions.

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Reporting by Jonathan Saul in London and Jonathan Spicer in Istanbul, Additional reporting by Tamara Vaal in Nur-Sultan and Omer Berberoglu in Istanbul; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Alison Williams

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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