Lithuania stops transit of fertilizers from Belarus
On December 8, the US sanctions against the Belarusian fertilizer producer Belaruskali, introduced in August, finally came into force. In this regard, the Lithuanian railway Lietuvos geležinkeliai (LG) and the port of Klaipeda must stop transshipment of potassium.
In December, LG will also transport Belaruskali cargoes across Lithuania to the port of Klaipeda, reports the railway magazine Railway Supply with reference to Lietuvos geležinkeliai.
This month LTG Cargo, the cargo operator of the LG group, is to transfer about 1 million tons of fertilizers, for which the Belarusian company has already paid off. The advance payment of “Belaruskali” will be enough for December cargoes, and possibly for part of January.
Currently, the Lithuanian Government will consider the issue of early termination of the agreement. On average, LTG Cargo transported more than 10 million tons of Belaruskali cargo per year, worth 60 million euros. Due to the loss of other Russian and Belarusian cargoes, the railway group will receive less revenue.
LG CEO Mantas Bartushko says that the railway is counting on compensation from the state: “According to updated estimates, if we stop transporting Belaruskali fertilizers from January 1, we may need subsidies of about 49 million euros, because we are putting in a lot of additional efforts: optimizing processes, employees, and stopping certain investments,” Bartushko said.
LTG Cargo hopes to compensate for the outflow by transporting goods not only in Lithuania, but also in Ukraine and Poland. In addition, new opportunities will appear after the implementation of the RailBaltica project, Lietuvos geležinkeliai said in an official statement.
Earlier, the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport announced that Lithuania would reduce railway shipments from China. On August 31, 2021, the last direct freight train left China for Lithuania.
No new routes are planned to be sent yet.
However, despite the political dispute between the countries, trains in the EU continue to run through Lithuania, but without stopping.
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