Syria increased in 2022, and dramatically importing wheat from Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine, Using a fleet of both countries’ ships to evade US sanctions is an indication that economic relations between Syria and Russia have grown stronger.
The quantities of wheat sent to Syria from the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea increased 17-fold this year to just over 500,000 tons, according to previously undisclosed shipping data from Refinitiv, making up nearly a third of the country’s total imports of wheat. .
The data shows that the two countries increasingly relied on their own ships to transport wheat, including three Syrian ships included in the sanctions imposed by Washington, in light of the sanctions imposed on the two countries that made it difficult to trade through the usual maritime transport routes and to obtain shipping insurance.
The Ukrainian embassy in Beirut, which tracks and monitors shipments coming to Syria, estimates that 500,000 tons of what it describes as looted Ukrainian wheat have arrived in Syria since the invasion from several ports.
The embassy said that those accounts and what the Ukrainian authorities say about the grain theft depend on information from owners of fields and silos in the occupied territories and on data from satellites showing truck movements to ports as well as ship tracking data.
The Russian ministries of agriculture and foreign affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the story.
In May, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that the reported allegations of Russia stealing wheat and grain were false.
Russia describes the steps it has taken in Ukraine as a “special military operation”.
Reuters could not independently verify the origin of the wheat shipped from Crimea, or whether the farmers and traders who dealt with the shipments had been paid.