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19 July, 2024
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Turkish ship carried stolen Ukrainian grain

Questions about border-crossing authorization raised


The Turkish vessel known as the "Sword Lion" has found itself in a holding pattern at the bustling Iskenderun port, its anticipated unloading of a unique cargo - Ukrainian grain of questionable origins - temporarily postponed.

According to a report on Greek City Times, the Sword Lion's journey reached a temporary pause as its anchor settled in the harbor's waters, marking its arrival at Iskenderun port. What's of particular note is the port's affiliation with a subsidiary of the Russian MMK company, a detail unveiled by the investigative prowess of journalist Kateryna Yaresko.

In an unexpected twist of events, the ship's subsequent destination was Famagusta, a city nestled within the internationally contested Northern Cyprus. However, the ship's ambitions to discharge its cargo encountered an unexpected hurdle, as authorities at this locale had previously rejected its plea to conduct unloading operations.

Adding an extra layer of intrigue to this unfolding saga is the Sword Lion's prior encounters with entry denials at the ports of Israel and Cyprus. Following a patient six-day wait, Turkey eventually welcomed the vessel into its territorial waters, a decision that spurred Kateryna Yaresko to squarely point the finger of responsibility at the Turkish authorities for greenlighting the ship's cross-border endeavor, despite its questionable cargo.

At the core of this maritime affair lies the contentious cargo itself: Ukrainian grain suspected to have been obtained through illicit means, bypassing proper customs channels upon crossing the Ukrainian border. This act potentially falls under the umbrella of smuggling, a hypothesis that gains traction when one considers the plausible connections between this grain and Russia's activities within the occupied regions of Ukraine. These activities notably encompass the coercive appropriation of agricultural resources. Nevertheless, the path to clarity necessitates a thorough and comprehensive investigation, as reported by Greek City Times.

The Sword Lion's journey has raised eyebrows, not just due to its peculiar cargo, but also due to the complex web of permissions and refusals it has encountered, pointing to larger questions about international trade regulations, territorial sovereignty, and potential diplomatic implications. As investigations continue, observers remain vigilant for further developments that could shed light on the intricate circumstances surrounding the Sword Lion's voyage and its cargo's shadowy origins.

Cyprus  |  ship  |  Turkey  |  journey  |  Ukraine  |  grain

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