Ukraine asks Turkey to probe three more Russian ships for stolen grain – media

6 July, 01:04 PM
The Russian ship Matros Koshka, on which the Russian Federation could illegally export stolen Ukrainian grain, in the Bosphorus, May 27, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File Photo)

The Russian ship Matros Koshka, on which the Russian Federation could illegally export stolen Ukrainian grain, in the Bosphorus, May 27, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File Photo)

Ukraine has asked Turkey to help investigate three Russian-flagged ships as part of Kyiv's efforts to probe what it alleges is the theft of grain from Russian-occupied territory, the Reuters news agency reported on July 5, with reference to official documents.

According to the agency, in a June 13 letter that hasn't previously been reported, the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office asked Turkey's justice ministry to investigate three ships it suspects have been involved in transporting grain allegedly stolen from recently occupied Ukrainian territories, such as Kherson.

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All three large dry bulk carriers – the Mikhail Nenashev, Matros Pozynich and Matros Koshka – are owned by a subsidiary of a Western-sanctioned Russian state-owned company called United Shipbuilding Corporation, according to Equasis, a shipping database.

The letter, which Reuters reviewed, said the ships traveled from Crimea's main grain terminal in Sevastopol in April and May. The Ukrainian government requested that Ankara provide documentation about their cargo and arrival at Turkish ports.

Turkish authorities on July 3 detained the Zhibek Zholy, a cargo ship sailing under the Russian flag, which was carrying Ukrainian grain from occupied Berdyansk in Zaporizhzhya Oblast.

Taras Vysotsky, Ukraine's first deputy minister of agrarian policy, on June 26 shared his estimates of Russian thefts of Ukrainian grain: since the beginning of the war, Russia has expropriated as much as 400,000 tonnes of grain from the Ukrainian fields.

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