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Lebanon releases ship accused of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain

A grain-loaded ship set off from a Ukrainian port on 1 August 2022 [Maksim Voytenko/Anadolu Agency]
A grain-loaded ship set off from a Ukrainian port on 1 August 2022 [Maksim Voytenko/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanon's Discriminatory Public Prosecutor, Ghassan Oueidat, allowed on Tuesday the release of the "Laodicea", a Syrian-flagged ship, after it was seized over allegations by the Ukranian embassy in Beirut that it carried flour and barley stolen from Ukraine.

AFP news agency quoted a judicial official as saying that Oueidat allowed the "Laodicea" which docked in the northern port city of Tripoli last week, to set sail after investigations failed to prove it carried stolen goods.

"Preliminary investigations … did not reveal the existence of a criminal offence, or that the goods were stolen," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The judicial official added that "the Syrian national whose name is on the shipment from Ukraine came in for investigation and presented the papers and documents that prove his ownership."

Last Thursday, the Ukrainian ambassador in Beirut, Ihor Ostash, announced that he had met with Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, and discussed "the issue of a Syrian-flagged ship that had entered Tripoli port carrying barley illegally sourced from the occupied Ukrainian lands."

READ: Ukrainian embassy says Russia ships 'stolen' wheat to Syria

Kyiv accuses Moscow of stealing crops from Ukranian areas controlled by Russian troops and uses them for local consumption or resells them abroad.

Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain producers, and the Russian war on it and Western sanctions on Moscow have hampered grain exports from both countries.

The Turkish Defence Ministry announced that, under an international agreement concluded with Russia in Istanbul on Monday, the first Ukrainian shipment of grain left the port of Odessa at 06:17 GMT.

The agreement between representatives of Russia and Ukraine, as well as Turkiye and the United Nations, allows the export of Ukrainian grain under international supervision.

READ: First grain shipment to leave Ukraine aboard Turkish vessel

Europe & RussiaLebanonMiddle EastNewsRussiaUkraine
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