VILNIUS – Minsk's decision to block rail freight transit from Lithuania was foreseeable, President Gitanas Nauseda said on Thursday, adding that Lithuanian businesses should adapt and find other routes for shipping their goods.
"These measures were to be expected. No doubt, we have (...) to look for alternative corridors other than through Belarus," Nauseda told a news conference after meeting with government officials, politicians and business representatives.
"This practice should be very important for businesses, because we have no great illusions about the Belarusian regime," he added.
According to Nauseda, other routes can be found.
"The closure of the airspace has shown that it is possible and necessary to adapt," he said.
In the president's words, the Minsk regime "is easily predictable by its aggressiveness and its actions are easy to foresee".
On Wednesday, Minsk announced a ban on the transit of oil products and fertilizers by rail from Lithuania as of February 7.
The transit ban is likely to affect Achema and Orlen Lietuva, which export fertilizers and oil products, respectively, to Ukraine via Belarus.
Orlen Lietuva told BNS that it has already tested new routes through Poland.
The move comes in response to the Lithuanian government's decision to halt the transit of Belaruskali fertilizers as of February 1, in the wake of US sanctions on Belarus' potash giant.