Russia delivered stolen Ukrainian grain from Berdyansk to Turkey

2 July, 02:42 PM
Russia continues to steal Ukrainian grain (Photo:Dado Ruvic / Reuters)

Russia continues to steal Ukrainian grain (Photo:Dado Ruvic / Reuters)

The Ukrainian government has officially requested a legal reaction from Turkey in response to Russia’s attempt to trade stolen Ukrainian grain, according to a statement made by Vasyl Bodnar, Ukrainian ambassador to Ankara, on Facebook on July 1.

The Zhibek Zholy, a cargo vessel, delivered grain from the Russia-controlled Ukrainian city of Berdyansk to Karasu, a port facility in Turkey.

“After receiving an official letter from the Office of the Prosecutor General, we’ve made a request to Turkish side to react immediately,” Bodnar wrote.

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“We have good communication and close cooperation with Turkish authorities. I’m sure future decisions will prevent attempts to threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

According to Reuters, whose report is based on information provided by Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, Zhibek Zholy took approximately 4,500 tonnes of Ukrainian grain on board for shipping. On June 30, Ukraine’s OPG requested permission from the Turkish authorities to examine the vessel, expropriate the grain for further investigation, and provide instructions on storage.

The OPG claims that Russians loaded as much as 7,000 tonnes of cargo onto Zhibek Zholy in Berdyansk.

Earlier, Russian propagandist outlets announced the same figure: 7,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain were transported from Berdynask to another location for further commercial operations.

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

So far, most of Russia’s agricultural exports have not been hit by sanctions, which means it is still possible to legally buy agricultural products from Russian commercial entities.

The Wall Street Journal published a report on Russian activities focused on expropriating Ukrainian grain, mentioning that unless legal action against stealing Ukrainian grain is taken, Russia may be able to find buyers for it.

Amid a world-wide food crisis, with a shortage of basic products affecting some African and Asian countries, key agriculture traders are seeking for opportunities to replace Ukrainian grain that the country is currently unable to provide to global markets with different supplies.

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