Ukraine Accuses Russia of ‘Stealing’ Grain on Syrian Food Vessel That Docked in Lebanon
July 29, 2022 (EIRNS)—Another incident of Ukraine, London and their cohorts blaming Russia for “stealing grain’ produced in Ukraine is playing out this week. This is right on cue to cause disruption to the July 22 four-way signed “Black Sea Grain Initiative,” under which grain is being loaded right now from three designated Ukraine ports, with the ships soon to embark.
The incident kicked off when the Syria-owned ship Laodicea, carrying flour and barley, landed in the Lebanese port of Tripoli on July 28, and the Ukraine ambassador objected to the Lebanese government that the cargo was grain that Russia stole from Ukraine. Ukraine is demanding confiscation and an investigation.
As of today, the Lebanese government seems to have rejected the Ukrainian accusation. AP has a report from a “senior Lebanese customs official” that there was “nothing wrong” when customs inspected the Laodicea. Its papers are in order. The ship is carrying barley and several thousand tons of flour. The Russian Embassy in Beirut has declared Ukraine’s charges “baseless.” The Lebanese private purchaser reports that some of the flour was to be offloaded in Beirut, and the remainder go on to Syria.
Expect more to play out on this incident. It is a repeat of charges made in recent months by Ukrainian officials, that Russia was “stealing” grain grown in Ukraine, and shipping it out of Crimea.
There are more sordid details to this week’s incident. The Laodicea vessel and its Syrian company owner are both under sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department since 2015, according to media reports.
The need for grain, flour, cooking oil, and other staple foods is desperate in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, making this geopolitical incident especially heinous. There were bread protests outside bakeries in Lebanon this week.
In reality, there is every reason to accept Russia’s report that they are buying some grain locally, and shipping it. Plus, in any devastated area, where grain is abandoned in silos or elevators, better it should go to human use, than to rats or rot.