Top Russian diplomat calls for further investigation in cargo ship spat
Speaking to reporters during a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Rafael Faria Tortosa, Lavrov said “We need to figure out what happened. It looks like this is indeed a Russian vessel. It flew our flag but seems to belong to Kazakhstan.”
The top Russian diplomat also refuted claims that there was a grain crisis saying, “any attempts to create a crisis is unacceptable. The problems with the export of our grain and fertilizer do not exist with the exception of the difficulties created by Western sanctions. They imposed illegal restrictions on freight, payments for entry in ports, and the like.”
On the other hand, the head of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Region’s so-called “military-civilian administration”, Yevgeny Balytsky, denied the cargo ship named Zgibek Zholy was detained by Turkey. "The cargo ship was not seized. We, our grain company, did not have an injunction on this cargo ship,” he said, according to Sputnik News.
Echoing Lavrov’s statement, Balytsky also added “Our company was only a transiter, the contract was concluded between Tallinn-based and Turkish companies in this case.”
Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar claimed that Turkey detained the Russian-flagged cargo ship last week, alleging that it was transporting 7,000 tons of stolen Ukrainian grain.