Russian ship carrying stolen Ukrainian grain arrived in Syria, said the Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon on Thursday 18 august, after several grain farmers caused controversy by landing in the country at war.
Ukraine regularly accuses Russia of ransacking and looting grain warehouses after the invasion of its territory by the Russian army. Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria is a great ally of Moscow.
" According to our information, the SV KONSTANTIN landed in Syria », reported the Ukrainian embassy to AFP in Beirut, "with grain stolen and illegally transported by the Russian occupation forces on board".
This cargo was originally destined for the Lebanese port of Tripoli, added the embassy, without specifying the Syrian port where the SV KONSTANTIN docked.
Another ship unloaded its cargo on Thursday at the Syrian port of Tartous run by a Russian company, Selon Samir Madani, co-founder of TankerTrackers.com.
The Razoni, under Sierra Leonean flag, transports the first cargo of cereals allowed to leave Ukraine thanks to an agreement with the United Nations and Turkey which made it possible to lift the blockade of Russia.
He was also supposed to go to Lebanon before diverting to Tartous this week with his 26 000 tons of corn, clarified on Twitter Samir Madani. Satellite images showed it unloading.
Early August, a Syrian ship, the Laodicea, was briefly immobilized in Lebanon after allegations he was transporting stolen Ukrainian grain. He was finally able to return to Syria to the chagrin of Ukraine, which said it was "disappointed" by this decision.
Syria, great ally of Moscow
Syria and Russia have been allies for decades, but ties have been significantly strengthened by the Syrian conflict and Moscow's military intervention from 2015 alongside Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Moscow has given only modest economic aid to its Syrian ally but regularly supplies it with cereals.