Snubbed Ukrainian grain heading to Russia-friendly Syria – Reuters — Analysis

After the final grain deal was signed, the vessel that raised the anchor first had to get off the ground. However, a Lebanese buyer refused to accept the shipment and forced it to change its course.

Reuters has reported that the first ship carrying grain from Ukraine to depart since the international-brokered deal to resume exports was made to Tartus, Syria. The vessel failed to unload cargo in Lebanon and is now approaching Tartus, citing two sources. 

After Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, exports to Ukraine were disrupted for several months. 

The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni left Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa on August 1, carrying 26,000 tons of corn. According to the tracking website, the ship is sailing in the eastern Mediterranean Sea between Cyprus and the Syrian coast. On Thursday, the Razoni docked at Mersin in Turkey.

Buyer rejects Ukrainian grain cargo – media

Although the cargo had been originally meant for Lebanon, the buyer declined to take it because of concerns about quality due to the lengthy delay. On Monday, the Ukrainian Embassy stated that the shipper is looking at other alternatives to shipping the corn to Lebanon. 

Moscow slams Western hypocrisy over Ukrainian grain

Last month saw the UN and Turkey broker an agreement for Ukraine to resume shipments. Moscow had previously been accused by Kiev of blocking its ports. However, Russia maintained that the vessels couldn’t sail because of Ukrainian naval mines.

Russia and Syria share close ties ever since Soviet times. Russian warplanes operate out of the country’s Khmeimim air base during missions against Islamist terrorist groups, while Tartus is a point of service for the Russian Navy. In June, Syria became the second country after Russia to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which broke away from Ukraine in 2014.

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