UPDATE

Lithuania leaves no room for Belarusian fertilisers

After terminating the contract with Belarusian potash fertiliser company Belaruskalij, Lithuanian Railways rejected the requests of three more Belarusian companies to transport their products. At the same time, a fourth request is pending. The decision is in coordination with the Lithuanian government, which seems to have declared war on this type of product.

The contract termination of Belaruskalij was more or less a decision of the Lithuanian government. Despite LTG stating that the US sanctions imposed on contracts with Belarusian companies are not binding, in the end, it stopped the transport of potash fertilisers. This was because the Lithuanian government decided to comply with the sanctions, and LTG could not get away with the development.

However, Belaruskalij was not the primary target. The Baltic state’s government seems unwilling to have any kind of involvement with Belarusian potash fertilisers. Consequently, after the requests of companies Belorusskaja kalinaja kompanija (BKK), Belintertrans and Belkali-Migao to transport their products through Lithuania towards the port of Klaipeda, LTG consulted the Coordinating Commission for the Protection of Objects Important for Ensuring National Security. The answer? Negative again.

No valid contracts

After informing Belaruskalij about the government’s decision to declare the company’s contract invalid as of February 1, we have already received applications from three different companies to transport fertilisers. Therefore, taking into account both the decisions made by the state on threats to national security and updated internal procedures, we first approached the government commission,” said Egidijus Lazauskas, CEO of LTG.

Based on the Commission’s feedback, LTG rejected the requests of Belintertrans and Belkali-Migao because they were based on contracts that were no longer in force. As for BKK, LTG did not even review its application.

More requests arriving

While the commission was examining the requests mentioned above, LTG received a fourth application from the company Lit Salt Trade to transport salt and potash fertilisers. Simultaneously, Belintertrans re-applied after the initial rejection it received. Both applications are still under review and pending, but the situation does not seem favourable regarding their acceptance.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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