A Lebanese prosecutor has ordered the detention of a sanctioned Syrian ship allegedly laden with stolen Ukrainian grain.
The 13,000 dwt Syrian freighter Laodicea arrived in Tripoli final week on a voyage from the Black Sea, the place she had been working with out AIS for weeks. The Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon claims that the vessel covertly referred to as on the Russian-occupied port of Feodosia and took on 10,000 tonnes of misappropriated Ukrainian flour and barley.
The Laodicea is owned by the Syrian state, and he or she has been implicated in sanctioned buying and selling between Russian-occupied Crimea and Syria for years. She was blacklisted by the US Treasury in 2015, together with the Syrian vessels Souria and Finikia.
Her cargo had initially been destined for Syria, an worker of Turkish grain buying and selling home Loyal Agro Co Ltd. instructed Reuters, however the Laodicea had diverted to Lebanon due to the nation’s excessive demand for wheat. On the brand new itinerary, half the cargo could be offloaded in Tripoli and the remainder would go to Syria as initially meant. The supply denied that the grain got here from Ukraine and claimed that it was a reliable cargo of Russian origin.
Lebanese officers are much less satisfied. On Saturday, after Ukraine appealed on to Lebanese president Michel Aoun, a prosecutor ordered the Laodicea held whereas police examine the origins of her cargo. If it have been confiscated on behalf of Ukraine, the grain might nonetheless find yourself in Lebanese fingers: the Ukrainian embassy mentioned in a press release that it’s keen to debate the phrases of the cargo’s switch to Lebanon whether it is seized.
Ukraine has lengthy been certainly one of Lebanon’s primary suppliers of wheat, and although that relationship was interrupted by the Russian naval blockade, it appears set to renew. An settlement for protected passage of Black Sea grain transport lastly entered into operation on Monday, and the very first vessel to depart Ukraine is headed to Lebanon to ship 26,000 tonnes of corn.