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Ukraine asks Turkey to take ‘urgent measures’ over grain ship

Ukraine has asked Turkey to take “urgent measures” over a Russian-flagged cargo ship carrying 7,000 tons of grain from the Russian-occupied port of Berdyansk.

The ship, the Zhibek Zholy, has been traveling to the Turkish port of Karasu.

Ukraine ambassador Vasyl Bodnar wrote on this Facebook page that Kyiv’s general prosecutor’s office had written to Turkish authorities requesting “urgent measures” be taken regarding the ship.

It’s not clear where the grain in the cargo came from. Russia has been accused of seizing grain from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine — which Moscow denies.

“We have good communication and close cooperation with the authorities of Turkey,” the ambassador said. “I am convinced that the decisions taken will prevent attempts to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

Marinetraffic.com showed the Zhibek Zholy anchored about a kilometer off the port of Karasu late Friday.

Yevhen Balytskyi, who was recently appointed by Russia as governor of the occupied Zaporizhzhia area of Ukraine, said earlier this week that the grain would be sent to “friendly countries.”

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested he would not be turning the ship away. “We can supply or re-export wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other agricultural products to countries in need,” Erdoğan said at a press conference, according to the TASS Russian news agency.

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