VILNIUS – Lithuania's transport minster has asked the government commission vetting strategic companies' deals to evaluate the existing contract between Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), the country's state-owned railway company, and Belarusian company Belaruskali, the world's largest manufacturer and exporter of potash fertilizers, on the transportation of Belarusian fertilizers through Lithuania to the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda.
The commission will be asked to rule whether the contract meets Lithuania's national security interests, the Transport and Communications Ministry said.
Minister Marius Skuodis says the transportation of Belarusian fertilizers through Lithuania is justly raising national security doubts, therefore, the ministry decided to turn to the commission for an in-depth evaluation of further execution of this contract.
Two years ago, the aforementioned commission, and later the Lithuanian the government, considered a request by Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas (Bulk Cargo Terminal), a Klaipeda-based company owned by businessman Igor Udovickij and Belaruskali, to allow it to expand in the port of Klaipeda.
The final ruling was confidential but BKT itself announced in October, 2019 that the commission ruled the company did no meet national security interests, and the government later ordered the commission to set preconditions for the company's investments which, BKT claimed, were supposed to stand at around 70 million euros.
Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said earlier on Wednesday Belaruskali product transit via Lithuania could not continue for a long time as the US sanctions came into force today.