Lithuania allocates 155 million euros to support LTG

Lithuanian Railways will receive 155 million euros from the government to compensate for the financial losses due to the sanctions and support ongoing infrastructure projects. The Lithuanian Finance minister Gintare Skaiste announced the measures during a press conference for the 2022 revised state budget.

Lithuanian Railways were already on the track to losing precious revenue starting from the ban on transporting Belarusian fertilisers due to US and EU sanctions. Belarusian fertilisers excluded from the Lithuanian network would mean a loss of 61 million euros. These sanctions were in place before the war in Ukraine. After more sanctions were introduced, the possibility of transporting any kind of Russian or Belarusian cargo was off the table, and the state-owned railway company was financially cramped.

Support imperative

“Revenue has dropped significantly due to the inability to transport certain cargo from Russia and Belarus. The company needs support to maintain its infrastructure. As a result, 72 million euros will be used to co-finance the network’s electrification project,” said the minister to the press, according to the Baltic Times. The remaining 83 million euros from the 155 million package will be used to compensate for the revenue losses after Russia and Belarus stopped using Lithuanian infrastructure.

Minister Skaiste explained that the Lithuanian Railways were supposed to partly self-fund the network’s electrification. The project costs 398 million euros, LTG would provide 201 million euros, and the rest would come from the EU’s Cohesion Fund. However, such a plan is not feasible anymore since LTG’s financial losses do not allow it for large investments, making state intervention critical.

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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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