Mysterious Firm Arranging Syria-Russia Shipments

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A mysterious firm has begun to arrange the export of Syrian citrus to Crimea and the Russian market, according to pro-government Syrian media. 

A vessel belonging to Rus Line LLC will set sail with refrigerated citrus in the coming days to the Crimean port of Kerch, the head of Syria’s Local Production and Exports Support and Development Agency told Al-Watan newspaper in comments published February 9.

Ibrahim Maydah added that Rus Line LLC will ship 1500 tons of citrus three times a month as part of a regular maritime route to ports in Crimea and Russia.

Rus Line LLC is based in central Damascus near Russia’s embassy, according to the Al-Iqtsisadi business journal, which said the firm was registered for international shipping services, specifically from Tartus to the southern Russian port of Novorossiysk.

Unlike other companies registered in Syria, Al-Iqtisadi did not provide details on the ownership of Rus Line LLC. Levant Networks could not locate an actively registered company under the name in Russia.

RusLine LLC, which appears to have gotten off the ground in late 2019, advertised on February 1 that the roll-on/roll-off vessel LION A was set to begin a series of voyages from Latakia to Russian ports. 

Maritime records show that the Panama-flagged LION A is managed by the Turkey-registered Net Deniz Tasimaciligi ve Dis shipping firm, which says that it specializes in the shipment of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Black Sea.

The LION A is owned by Novruz Shipping, a firm registered in the Marshall Islands with an address in Istanbul. 

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