Ukraine says Syrian ship docks in Lebanon with stolen grain


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BEIRUT — A Syrian cargo ship, sanctioned by the United States and carrying what Ukraine says is barley stolen from the war-torn country, has docked in Lebanon, the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in the Middle country said on Thursday. -East.

According to the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut, the cargo ship Laodicea docked in the port of Tripoli, Lebanon’s second city. It was carrying 5,000 tonnes of flour and 5,000 tonnes of barley, the embassy said.

The US Treasury Department sanctioned Laodicea in 2015 for its affiliation with the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad.

Ukraine has accused Russia of plundering grain and steel from its territory since Moscow invaded the country in late February. The embassy in Beirut did not specify or specify how the barley was allegedly stolen from Ukraine.

Maritime Traffic, which monitors ship traffic and the location of ships at sea, also confirmed the docking of ships in Tripoli on Thursday. The Laodicea was initially heading for the port of Tartous in Syria and was expected to arrive there earlier this week.

It was unclear why he had diverted to Lebanon and whether or not he was unloading the cargo here.

Earlier Thursday, Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Ostash met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and warned the Lebanese leader that buying stolen goods from Russia would “harm bilateral relations”, according to the embassy statement. Kyiv had previously praised Lebanon for condemning Russia for its war against Ukraine.

“The Lebanese authorities have promised to carry out an investigation,” the Ukrainian embassy told The Associated Press later Thursday. “We hope they will take further legal action.”

Ukraine has promised to export wheat to Lebanon, which is currently experiencing a crippling food and economic crisis.

Lebanon’s acting economy minister Amin Salam did not have details of the ship. Tripoli Port General Manager Ahmad Tamer initially said he was unaware of the ship’s arrival and did not respond to requests for further comment.

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