Turkey has been accused of buying stolen Ukrainian grain from Moscow which was likely illegally shipped out of Crimea.
Kyiv’s ambassador Vasyl Bodnar said that he is working with Interpol and the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s government to identify and have those responsible arrested for the illegal trade movements.
Bodnar added, “Russia is shamelessly stealing Ukrainian grains and getting it out from the invaded Crimea.
“These grains are being shipped to foreign countries, including Turkey.
“We have made our appeal for Turkey to help us and, upon the suggestion of the Turkish side, are launching criminal cases regarding those stealing and selling the grains.”
The Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara said that Nadezhda, Finikia, Sormivskiy, Vera, and Mikhail Nenashev ships were involved in moving stolen goods from the Ukraine.
Satellite images taken by US-based Maxar Technologies on 19 to 21 May showed that two Russian flagged ships, the Matros Pozynich and the Matros Koshka could be seen docking and loading up Ukrainian grain at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
According to ship-tracking site MarineTraffic.com, the Russian flagged ship, Matros Pozynich made its way to the Syrian port of Latakia.
Ukraine’s embassy in Lebanon, cited Ukrainian law enforcement who said the stolen grain aboard the vessel was “stolen” from Ukrainian storage facilities in areas which are now temporarily occupied by Russian troops.
The embassy said, “The wheat is stolen from a facility that combines wheat from three Ukrainian regions into one batch.”
Adding that it had tried to reach out to the Syrian authorities however they never received any response, they said, “This is criminal activity.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday that Kyiv are prepared to work on resuming trade from the key port.
He wrote on Twitter, “Ukraine is ready to create necessary conditions to resume exports from the port of Odesa.
“The question is how to make sure that Russia doesn’t abuse the trade route to attack the city of Odesa.
“No guarantees from Russia so far.
“We seek solutions together with the UN and partners.”
Dmitry Medvedev, the former Prime Minister under Vladimir Putin who is now the deputy chairman of Russia’s national security council, previously warned that Russia will not enable food supplies unless the West eased their sanctions on Russia.
Medvedev said Russia are ready to help avert any possible famine in some nations but they expect “assistance from trading partners, including on international platforms” in return.
He wrote on Telegram, “Otherwise, there’s no logic: on the one hand, insane sanctions are being imposed against us, on the other hand, they are demanding food supplies.
“Things don’t work like that, we’re not idiots.”