Officially, Ankara is acting as a mediator in the dispute over blocked Ukrainian wheat freighters. Now a ship flying the Russian flag is anchored at a Turkish port. It has stolen grain on board, Kyiv suspects and demands an investigation.
Ukraine suspects the export of grain stolen by Russian occupiers and is therefore demanding that the Turkish authorities investigate a freighter. According to a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv, the Russian-flagged "Zhibek Zholy" left the Russian-held port of Berdyansk with 4,500 tons of grain on board. In a letter from the Attorney General dated June 30 to the Ministry of Justice in Kyiv, there is even talk of 7,000 tons of grain. Accordingly, the freighter should call at the Turkish port of Karasu.
The Attorney General asked the Turkish authorities to examine the freighter and take samples from the grain. In addition, the Turkish officials should ask for proof of origin. A statement from the Russian government on the process could not be obtained. The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not initially answer any questions about the "Zhibek Zholy". Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of marketing grain from the conquered territories. The government in Moscow rejects these allegations. Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters.
The Kazakh company KTZ Express confirmed to Reuters that it is the owner of the "Zhibek Zholy". The ship was chartered to the Russian company Green-Line. According to the Kazakh company, no sanctions have been imposed on Green-Line. Green-Line could not be reached for a statement. According to ship tracking data from information provider Refinitiv, the "Zhibek Zholy" is currently at anchor near Karasu.
Explosive about the request: It was only at the beginning of June that the Ukrainian ambassador in Ankara, Vasyl Bodnar, accused Turkey of being one of the countries that buy grain stolen from Ukraine by Russia. Bodnar, on the other hand, said he had asked the Turkish authorities and Interpol for help in finding out who was involved in grain shipments through Turkish waters.
Officially, Turkey plays the role of a neutral mediator in relation to the United Nations on the wheat issue. A meeting between Russia, Ukraine, the UN and Turkey should be organized, it was said in Ankara in mid-June.