Syrian ship carrying ‘stolen Ukrainian barley, flour’ docks in Tripoli: Embassy

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A Syrian ship under US sanctions has docked in the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli carrying barley and wheat that the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut told Reuters on Thursday had been plundered by Russia from Ukrainian stores.

The Laodicea docked in Tripoli on Wednesday, according to shipping data website MarineTraffic.

“The ship has travelled from a Crimean port that is closed to international shipping, carrying 5,000 tonnes of barley and 5,000 tonnes of flour that we suspect was taken from Ukrainian stores,” the embassy told Reuters.

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“This is the first time a shipment of stolen grains and flour reaches Lebanon,” the statement said.

Ukrainian ambassador Ihor Ostash met with Lebanese president Michel Aoun on Thursday to discuss the shipment, telling him that purchasing stolen Ukrainian goods would “harm bilateral ties” between Kiev and Beirut, the embassy told Reuters.

A Lebanese official confirmed that the issue had been raised during a Thursday meeting with Aoun and noted Ukraine's general concerns that Russia might try selling stolen Ukrainian wheat to a host of countries including Lebanon.

The head of Tripoli port did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Laodicia is one of a trio of ships owned by the Syrian port authority that Ukraine says have been transporting wheat plundered from stores in Ukrainian territory recently overtaken by Russia.

Russia has previously denied the allegations that it has stolen Ukrainian grain.

All three ships have been sanctioned by the US since 2015.

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Ukraine hopes to ship grain again this week under UN deal despite Russian attack

In Syria, a poor wheat harvest adds to food worries

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