“The flour and barley on board the LAODICEA, in the Lebanese port of Tripoli, were stolen from Ukraine. The ship, the LAODICEA, which arrived in the Lebanese port under Syrian flag, had been loaded in occupied Crimea,” the Embassy of Ukraine in Lebanon reported in a statement released on Monday, August 1.

“We have received key documents and evidence from Ukraine that the flour and barley on board the LAODICEA were stolen from Ukraine” it added. “Tomorrow we will submit a petition to the judge in Tripoli to extend the detention period…. we will do everything possible to distribute it to the Lebanese market as soon as possible.”

Ukrainian diplomats had appealed to the Lebanese authorities, having noted the arrival of the Syrian ship with stolen Ukrainian grain. On July 28, the Ambassador of Ukraine, Ihor Ostash, met with the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun. In particular, they discussed the issue of supplying Ukrainian wheat to the Lebanese market.

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The diplomat emphasized that, despite military actions by the Russian invaders, Ukraine would continue to be a reliable partner for Lebanon and would ensure its food security.

At the same time, the ambassador made it clear to the President of Lebanon that on July 27, the Syrian ship which had entered the seaport of Tripoli, had been loaded with grain exported from the occupied territories in the port of Feodosia, Crimea.

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“A request has been made to clarify the circumstances of the ship’s stay in Lebanese territorial waters and it has been emphasized that this incident could harm bilateral relations,” it was reported.

Ostash explained that to confirm that the grain is Ukrainian, an examination must be carried out, and for this, a court decision and the arrest of the vessel are required.

“We already have such a court decision, and we will now start, let’s say, the legal process. And an element of this, of course, will be research and expertise. We want to take samples of this grain for examination to establish whether it is indeed of Ukrainian origin. There is no other way for today,” reported the ambassador on July 28.

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He emphasized that the ship is unable to unload its cargo and remains in the port of Tripoli. The Prosecutor General of Lebanon, Hassan Weidat, confirmed that the ship was under arrest pending an examination.

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