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Syrian Ship Carrying Suspected Stolen Ukrainian Grains Leaves Lebanon

Syrian Ship Carrying Suspected Stolen Ukrainian Grains Leaves Lebanon

Thursday, 4 August, 2022 - 10:15
Ukraine's ambassador to Lebanon, Ihor Ostash, gestures during a news conference at the Ukrainian Embassy in Baabda, Lebanon August 3, 2022. REUTERS/Emilie Madi

The Syrian ship carrying suspected stolen Ukrainian grain left Lebanon's northern port of Tripoli on Thursday and was on its way to Syria, Lebanon's caretaker transport minister Ali Hamie tweeted.

The Laodicea had docked in Tripoli on July 27 with some 5,000 tons of barley and 5,000 tons of flour that the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut said had been plundered from Ukrainian stores by Russian authorities.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian Ambassador to Lebanon Ihor Ostash urged Lebanon not to allow the vessel to leave the port.

A judge on Wednesday said the Laodicea can sail, a day after Lebanon’s prosecutor general decided the ship could leave after an investigation showed it was not carrying stolen Ukrainian grain.

Hamie tweeted that “Syrian-flagged Laodicea is now outside Lebanon's territorial waters.”

Marine Traffic, a website that monitors vessel traffic and location of ships on seas, showed the ship moving toward the Syrian coast.

Russia’s diplomatic mission in Lebanon praised the move, accusing Ukraine of lying about the cargo and trying to damage relations between Moscow and Beirut.

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

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