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MFA Ukraine “disappointed” over Lebanon releasing ship carrying stolen Ukrainian food.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is disappointed by the decision of the court of Tripoli (Lebanon) to lift the seizure of the Syrian vessel Laodicea, which is transporting Ukrainian agricultural products stolen by Russia.

That’s according to a statement released on Thursday, Ukrinform reports.

"Despite the evidence provided, the court took no account of the position of Ukraine’s competent authorities," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.

Ukrainian diplomats noted that the decision of the Lebanese court allows the Laodicea, which is under international sanctions due to the illegal export of goods from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, to leave the port of Tripoli without hindrance, carrying stolen Ukrainian flour and barley.

Read also: Lebanon seizes Syrian ship carrying stolen Ukrainian grain

"The ruling actually encourages Russia to pursue theft in the temporarily occupied south of Ukraine with a sense of impunity. In addition, with such a decision, Lebanon is actually undermining its own food security, pushing Ukraine away as its reliable partner," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed.

MFA Ukraine has called on the Lebanese side to cancel the move and take measures to prevent further attempts to use Lebanon to transship stolen Ukrainian grain.

The statement notes that Ukraine has always undertaken efforts to support Lebanon's food security, being a top exporter of agricultural products to the country in 2021. Ukrainian food supplies did not stop even after the start of Russia's full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine. After the opening of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, the first grain carrier left Odesa for Lebanon.

"Moreover, taking into account the difficult food situation in Lebanon, in coordination with the Ukrainian owners of the illegally exported cargo, the Lebanese side was offered to buy Ukrainian flour and barley at a discounted price," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled.

"Laodicea" (IMO: 9274343 (SY)) is one of three Syrian ships transporting Ukrainian grain stolen by the occupying force.

Earlier, Lebanon seized the vessel pending investigation into the origin of the cargo, which may have been stolen by Russian invaders in Ukraine.

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