Kyiv expects Turkey to accept restrictions that will prevent Russia from illegally importing stolen Ukrainian grain - ambassador
Ukraine expects Turkey to adopt restrictions that will not allow the Russian Federation to illegally import stolen Ukrainian grain, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar has said.
"Today we have already submitted five appeals through legal assistance from our General Prosecutor's Office. We have now received the Turkish side's consent to communication at the level of department directors, next week we are organizing such consultations between law enforcement agencies, between our General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Justice. And we also expect that appropriate restrictions will be adopted in Turkey that will not allow Russians to illegally import this [Ukrainian] grain," Bodnar said at a briefing at the Ukraine media center in Lviv on Friday.
At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that if grain enters Turkish ports with Russian documents, then from the point of view of Turkish legislation, it is extremely difficult to ensure the seizure of this cargo or vessel in the legal plane.
"But given that we have been fighting this for three months now, there are certain shifts. It is too early to talk about them publicly, but I think that we will have results that we will be able to share with the wider public literally soon," the diplomat said.
Bodnar explained that, from the point of view of formality, it was impossible to close the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for these ships. Articles 2 and 3 of the Montreux Convention clearly provide that any ship under any flag with any legal cargo can freely pass through the straits and no one has the right to stop it, he added.
"The only exception is for dangerous cargo or illegal cargo. Then the ship can be stopped and inspected, even seized, if this cargo poses a threat to the Turkish state," Bodnar explained.
At the same time, he noted that the Russian Federation uses various manipulative methods in order to import stolen Ukrainian grain from the territories it occupies, both to Turkish markets and to the markets of some Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.