In 2022, Russia increased wheat exports from the annexed Crimea to Syria 17 times – to more than half a million tons.
Reuters reported this by quoting the Refinitiv data. This volume is almost a third of total grain imports to the country.
Syria imported over 500 thousand tons of wheat from Crimea
According to Refinitiv, by the end of November this year, Syria imported about 501.8 thousand tons of wheat from Sevastopol. For comparison – in 2021, 28.2 tonnes were imported from Crimea.
The cargo has been arriving since May, and the largest monthly shipment of 78.6 thousand tons was in October.
Wheat cargoes usually move to the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartus on three Syrian ships. According to Equasis and the US Treasury Department, the vessels – Laodicea, Phoenicia, and Surya – belong to the state-owned Syrian General Directorate of Maritime Transport.
All three vessels have been under US sanctions since 2015 for their alleged role in the conflict in Syria.
Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain from occupied territories
Ukraine and the Russian-appointed occupation authorities agree that some grain was exported from occupied Zaporizhzhia via Crimea, but Russia denies the allegations of grain theft.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Beirut monitors cargoes entering Syria and believes that 500 thousand tons of stolen Ukrainian grain have arrived in Syria since the invasion from several ports.
The embassy explained that these calculations were based on information from the owners of fields and silos in the occupied territories, satellite data on the movement of trucks to ports, and ship tracking.
The Ukrainian government estimates that agricultural products worth $1.87 billion were destroyed or stolen due to the full-scale invasion.
According to the NASA Harvest study, Russia stole at least $1 billion of Ukrainian grain.