KARASU/kyiv: Turkish customs authorities have stopped a Russian cargo ship carrying grain which Ukraine says was stolen, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey said on Sunday.
Ukraine previously asked Turkey to detain the Russian-flagged vessel Zhibek Zholy cargo, according to an official and documents seen by Reuters.
Reuters reporters saw the Zhibek Zholy ship anchored about 1 km from shore and outside Karasu port on Sunday, with no obvious signs of movement on board or by other nearby vessels.
“We are cooperating fully. The ship is currently at the entrance to the port, it has been detained by the customs authorities of Turkey,” the ambassador said. Vasyl Bodnar say it Ukrainian national television.
Bodnar said the ship’s fate would be decided by a meeting of investigators on Monday and that Ukraine hoped for the confiscation of the grain.
Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from territories that Russian forces have seized since the invasion of Moscow began in late February. The Kremlin has previously denied that Russia stole Ukrainian grain.
A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry official, citing information from the Ukrainian Maritime Administration, told Reuters on Friday that Zhibek Zholy, 7,146 dwt, loaded the first shipment of some 4,500 tonnes of Ukrainian grain from Berdyansk, a port occupied by Russia in southern Ukraine.
The region’s Sakarya Port Authority was not immediately available for comment. The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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