Ukraine calls on Turkey to detain Russian cargo ship carrying Ukrainian grain

Ukraine calls on Turkey to detain Russian cargo ship carrying Ukrainian grain
Update: 05 July 2022 14:27
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Russian-flagged Zhibek Zholy reported its position close to Turkey’s Karasu port, tracking data showed on Friday

Ukraine has requested that Turkey detain and arrest a Russian-flagged cargo ship transporting Ukrainian grain taken from Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk, Reuters reported, citing an anonymous official from the Ukrainian foreign ministry and referring to documents seen by the news agency.

Ukraine's prosecutor general's office on Thursday sent a letter to Turkey's Justice Ministry, Reuters said, that the cargo ship had loaded illegally acquired Ukrainian grain from Berdyansk and headed to Karasu, Turkey.

Turkey's foreign ministry did not immediately comment on the arrival of the cargo ship.

Zhibek Zholy, owned by the Kazakh based KTZ Express, reported its position close to Karasu port, tracking data showed on Friday. The vessel did not list Berdyansk as its destination in the past 48 hours but data shows it crossing the Black Sea from near Crimea. 

KTZ Express said it was chartered without any crew by Russian company Green-Line, Reuters reported.  

Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of stealing grain from the Russian occupied territories, a claim the Kremlin denies. 

Grain shipments from Ukraine have been halted by Russia's invasion, causing global food shortages. United Nations appealed to confronting countries to open a sea corridor for grain exports in order to ease the risk of global famine.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday announced that Turkey is willing to re-export Black Sea grains to countries in need.

Turkey already has 20 ships ready to operate in the region and can transport wheat, oat, barley and sunflower oil once there is a deal between the confronting countries, he said.