Syria to Import Grain, Citrus Fruit from Russia-annexed Crimea

Thousands of tons of Russian grain will be delivered to Syria next year, the head of the Crimean region Yuri Gotsanyuk has said, according to

Exports from the Black Sea peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, to the war-ravaged country began two years ago.

The first batch of grain will be delivered in early January, Gotsanyuk told reporters on Tuesday. He added that Crimea expects more citrus fruit shipments from Syria.

“We are in talks on more supplies,” he said, explaining that citrus from Syria arrived in early 2019.

Syria, which is facing problems with grain supplies due to Western sanctions, has a desperate need for bread.

On Monday, the first batch of olive oil from Syria was supplied to Crimea. It will be later sold in other Russian regions.

In April, the sides signed a memorandum on trade and economic cooperation. They have agreed to set up a joint trading platform and ship operator for ensuring regular maritime freight traffic.

The document provides for the creation on an equal footing of a trading house and a shipping company to ensure regular sea freight traffic between the ports of Latakia and the Russian peninsula.

In November, a Syrian delegation headed by the governor of the province of Tartus Safuan Abu Saad visited Crimea to negotiate with businessmen in Sevastopol and the city authorities.