A ship carrying grain suspected to have been illegally exported from the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea was allowed to dock in Turkey on Monday, the Ukrainian Shipping Magazine (USM) reported, citing official records and an investigative story published by Myrotvorets News.
The Turkish-flagged Sword Lion, loaded with the grain in question, had previously been turned away from ports in both Israel and Cyprus, according to USM. After six days of waiting, the ship was approved for docking at the Turkish port of İskenderun.
The grain, believed to be of Ukrainian origin, was loaded in the Crimean port of Kavkaz and was supposed to be sent to Israel, but the ship was not allowed to dock in Haifa after a six-day wait. The Sword Lion then went to Cyprus, only to be turned away at the port of Famagusta.
The grain was allegedly exported in violation of the state border of Ukraine, without complying with necessary customs procedures, making it effectively contraband. Further research is needed to determine the full details of the grain’s origin and if it is related to any illegal activities in the occupied territories of Ukraine, such as the forcible seizure of agricultural products, the USM report says.
The journalist Kateryna Yaresko, who reported on the matter, called attention to Turkey’s role in the incident, emphasizing the Turkish authorities’ responsibility for allowing the ship to cross their border.
The detailed report from Myrotvorets News included information about the management, shipment schedules, identification, and geolocation of the Sword Lion.