Russian general cargo ship under suspicion of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain left the Turkish port of Karasu late on Wednesday, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed.
The 7,000 dwt Zhibek Zholy is en route to the port of Kavkaz, Russia and is expected to arrive on July 8, according to vessel monitoring service, VesselFinder.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, said on Sunday that Turkish authorities had detained the ship allegedly carrying grain from the occupied port of Berdyansk, which Russia’s foreign ministry dismissed as false claims, saying the ship was undergoing standard procedures.
Kyiv estimates around 400,000 tonnes of stolen grain have been exported by Russia since the war began, with Ukraine identifying 13 vessels involved in the trade thus far.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine confirmed the news on Thursday, stating that although the ship failed to unload, its appeal for the arrest of the vessel and its cargo failed.
Zhibek Zholy is currently owned by Ktz Epress Shipping and the beneficial owner is Ktz Express, a Kazakhstan-based company. GreenLine, a Russian company, assumed the operator role on February 24, 2022, the first day of the Russian invasion.
“The Ukrainian side, with deep disappointment, accepted the information mentioned and appeals to the Turkish side, insisting to investigate the said situation and provide an exhaustive response to the requests of the relevant authorities of Ukraine, and by all means to prevent such cases in the future,” the Ministry said in a statement.