Ukraine has expressed its disappointment at Lebanon's decision to allow a ship allegedly carrying stolen Ukrainian grain to leave the port of Tripoli, as it unsuccessfully urged Beirut to reverse the move.
According to the Reuters news agency, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said in a statement today that it was disappointed at a Lebanese court's approval of the Syrian-flagged vessel, Laodicea's departure, after it was determined that the ship did not possess the stolen cargo Kyiv accused it of carrying.
The statement insisted that Ukraine's position had not been properly taken into account, particularly after the Ukrainian ambassador to Lebanon, Ihor Ostash, yesterday told a news conference at the embassy near Beirut that there was new evidence that a Ukrainian judge had gathered and handed over to Lebanon.
With that evidence allegedly proving the vessel is carrying around 10,000 tons of flour and barley looted by Russia from Ukraine, Kyiv had urged Lebanon's top prosecutor to re-open the investigation. Despite that call, the ship left today after the court's order on Monday for the ship to remain at the port had ended.
As the "Laodicea" departed, however, another vessel carrying Ukrainian grain is currently en route to Lebanon to supply the country with the much-needed commodity, following a UN and Turkiye-brokered deal to allow grain exports from Ukraine to safely leave the country's ports and pass through the Black Sea in order to resume supplies to international markets and avert a global food crisis.