Ukraine says Turkey has detained Russian grain ship: Report

EuroActiv Politico News

Turkey has detained a Russian cargo ship carrying alleged Ukrainian grain, Kyiv’s ambassador to Turkey said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Ambassador Vasyl Bondar said in an interview with Ukrainian television that Turkish custom authorities had seized the Zhibek Zholy, a Russian-flagged vessel carrying 7,000 tons of grain from the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk, Reuters reported.

“We have full cooperation,” Bondar said, according to the report. “The ship is currently standing at the entrance to the port; it has been detained by the customs authorities of Turkey.”

A meeting of investigators on Monday will decide the fate of the ship, said Bondar.

Ukraine asked Ankara on Saturday to take “urgent measures” over the Zhibek Zholy, which was anchored about a kilometer off the Turkish port of Karasu. Kyiv says the grain onboard has been seized from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine — a charge that Moscow denies.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided not to turn away the ship and said on Friday that the wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other agricultural products could be supplied or re-exported to other countries.