June 6, 2022
Ukrainian ambassador says grain stolen by Russia sold in Turkey
Vasyl Bodnar, Ukraine's ambassador to Turkey, said Russia has sold stolen grain from Ukraine to Turkish buyers, adding that he has requested Turkey's assistance to identify and apprehend those responsible for the shipments, Reuters reported.
Russia and Ukraine produce nearly a third of the world's wheat, and Russia also exports a lot of fertiliser, while Ukraine exports corn and sunflower oil. However, since Russia invaded Ukraine, grain shipments from its Black Sea ports have been halted, with an estimated 20 million tonnes of grain stuck in the country.
Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar said Russia was transporting stolen grains out of Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and that Kyiv was working with Turkey and Interpol to track down the perpetrators.
Bodnar said they have appealed to Turkey for assistance, and are launching criminal cases against those who are stealing and selling the grains, as suggested by the Turkey.
The Nadezhda, Finikia, Sormivskiy, Vera, and Mikhail Nenashev ships were involved in the stolen grain shipments, according to the Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara. Reuters was unable to independently verify the claims made by the embassy.
The Ukrainian embassy in Beirut told Reuters this week that Russia had sent 100,000 tonnes of stolen wheat to its Syria.