Zhibek Zholy: Turkey Releases Russian Ship With Wheat Allegedly Stolen From Ukraine | International

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador in kyiv to notify him of its protest over the release of the Russian ship Zhibek Zholy, which the Turkish authorities seized last weekend after receiving a complaint from the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, according to which the freighter was carrying some 4,500 tons of wheat stolen by Russia. According to this complaint, the cereal was loaded at the port of Berdyansk, in Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia and whose facilities are officially closed, making it illegal to use them for commercial operations.

“Ignoring the appeal of the Ukrainian side, the ship was released on the night of July 6. The Ukrainian side received the aforementioned information with deep disappointment and urgently requests that it carry out an investigation,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denounced in a statement, in which it calls the situation “unacceptable” and calls for “responses.”

An official Turkish source confirmed to Reuters on Monday that the Ukraine accusations were being “thoroughly investigated” so the Zhibek Zholy he had been temporarily held and prevented from accessing the port of Karasu, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, where he planned to unload his cargo. For several days she remained anchored in open water a kilometer from the coast.

satellite images shared on social networks They show that the ship began to move away from the Turkish coast late on Wednesday, although without reporting the port of destination. The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey explained to EL PAÍS that at noon on Thursday it had not yet received any official notification about the result of the investigations initiated by Turkey or about its termination.

“It has been a Solomonic solution, so as not to anger Russia, but in which Ukraine does not come out so badly either. It has ensured that the stolen grain is not unloaded in Turkey and now the Zhibek zoly he will hardly be able to sell it to another country, so the trip will be expensive,” explained a Ukrainian source who closely follows the way Russia is trying to move agricultural production out of the occupied territories of Ukraine. The kyiv authorities estimate that more than 400,000 tons of cereal has been “stolen” by Russia, of which a quarter has gone to various Turkish ports, where it is sold passing it off as cereal of Russian origin.

Turkey, which is a member of NATO and at the same time has good relations with Russia, as well as a great economic dependency on Moscow, has tried to maintain a delicate balance since the beginning of the war. It has prohibited the passage of military ships through the straits that give access to the Black Sea and has condemned the Russian invasion, but has refused to support the sanctions approved by its partners in the Atlantic Alliance. At the same time, the private company Baykar – owned by the family of a son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – has continued to supply Ukraine with Bayraktar armed drones, which have proven highly effective against Russian forces.

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