Russia delivered 100,000 tons of stolen Ukrainian grain to Syria

3 June, 12:13 PM
Sailor Pozinich, on which Russia could carry stolen Ukrainian grain, in the Bosphorus on May 22, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Yoruk Isik)

Sailor Pozinich, on which Russia could carry stolen Ukrainian grain, in the Bosphorus on May 22, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Yoruk Isik)

Russia has stolen 100,000 tones of grain from occupied Ukrainian territory and transported it to Syria, the Ukrainian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, has said in a statement given to news agency Reuters.

The statement was published on June 2. It said that the Russians had delivered some of the stolen grain to Syria on the cargo vessel Matros Pozynich.

According to satellite images and data from trackers, this vessel took on the cargo in Sevastopol, a city in Crimea which has been occupied by Russia since 2014, in mid-May. The Matros Pozynich arrived in Latakia, a major sea port in Syria, on May 29.

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Ukrainian diplomats emphasized that the grain delivered by Matros Pozynich had been stolen in Ukrainian agriculture storages that are located on territories currently controlled by the Russian army. The Ukrainian Embassy in Beirut describe this as a crime, and said that it had contacted the Syrian authorities on resolving the issue. So far, the Syrian authorities haven’t responded to the inquiry.

“Over the past three months, more than 100,000 tons of stolen Ukrainian grain has been delivered to Syria,” Reuters reported, quoting the Ukrainian Embassy’s statement.

“Given that global grain prices are over U.S. $400 per tonne, such an amount would be worth more than $40 million,” Reuters wrote.

Reuters contacted the Ministry of Information of Syria and Russian Defense Ministry, but neither responded to requests for comment.

Earlier, the United Nations said that as much as 25 million tons of grain are stuck in Ukrainian sea ports because of the ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine that Russia started on Feb. 24.

At the end of May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia had stolen at least 500,000 tons of grain and was looking for opportunities to sell it.

Russian aggression is creating severe risks to the world’s food security, especially affecting Africa, Asia and some European countries, experts have warned.

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