Razoni left Odesa with 26,000 tonnes of maize on 1 August. Initially the cargo was about to go to Lebanon, but the buyer withdrew and along the way the cargo had been traded several times.
For the past three days, there has been no signal from the transmitter identifying the ship and stating its location. The last known position was near Cyprus.
Two sources provide information Reuters that the ship was on its way to the Syrian port city of Tartus. That could be an explanation for the transmitter being turned off. Syria is a close ally of Russia, and Ukraine accuses Syria of buying grain stolen from Ukraine during the war. Syria is also subject to a number of Western sanctions after an eleven-year civil war.
The Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon said they did not know where the ship or cargo was. They pointed out that Ukraine was not responsible for the ship, but that the task of the Ukrainian authorities was to ensure that the country’s ports could be reopened so that it would be possible to export grain.
Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest grain exporters. The halt in exports due to the Russian invasion has raised fears of serious food shortages and starvation in some countries. An estimated 20 million tons of grain are held in Ukraine due to the war that has lasted for six months.
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