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Kyiv requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship carrying Ukrainian grain

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Kyiv has requested that Turkey detain and arrest the Russian-flagged cargo ship Zhibek Zholy carrying a cargo of Ukrainian grain taken from the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk, according to a Ukrainian official and document seen by Reuters.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry official, citing information received from the country’s maritime administration, said the 7,146 dwt Zhibek Zholy had loaded the first cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Berdyansk, which the official said belonged to Ukraine.

In a letter dated June 30 to Turkey’s justice ministry, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office separately that the Zhibek Zholy was involved in the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” from Berdyansk and headed to Karasu, Turkey with 7,000 tonnes of cargo, which is a larger cargo than cited by the official.

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Turkey’s foreign ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the arrival of the Zhibek Zholy.

Kazakh based KTZ Express confirmed to Reuters the Zhibek Zholy was owned by the company but said it was taken under a bare boat charter by Russian company Green Line, which was not designated under any sanctions.

KTZ Express added that it was consulting the parties involved and would abide by all sanctions and restrictions.

Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from the territories that Russian forces have seized since its invasion began in late February. The Kremlin has denied that Russia has stolen any Ukrainian grain.

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