Neonafta, which is controlled by the EU’s blacklisted Belarusian billionaire Yury Chizh, and which used to own one of Latvia’s largest biofuel producers, Mamas D, officially left the Latvian market last week, according to Firmas.lv. Mamas D currently belongs to two Belarusian residents. The EU has frozen the assets of three businessmen associated with the Belarusian government - Chizh, Anatoly Tarnavsky and Vladimir Peftiev – and has banned them from crossing its borders. The EU has also extended sanctions against Belarus until Oct. 31, 2013. Neonafta owned 80 percent of Mamas D shares and 80 percent of Latgales alus D shares until Dec. 14. Currently, 40 percent of both companies’ shares belong to Belarusian citizen Dmitry Aleksin and another 40 percent to Russian citizen Inna Oleksin. Aleksin said that both shareholders are planning to expand the company’s operations.
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The final decision on the diversion of transit cargo from Klaipeda port to Russian ports is still pending, reports ELTA. However, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says that “some sort of diversification will have to happen.” On Dec. 12, in a meeting of the senior editors of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Baltic countries and Georgia, the Belarusian president said that he wanted to “clarify some points,” referring to the discussion on the visa-free regime with Lithuania. Lukashenko said that the question of goods’ transit is still under consideration. Belarusian transport officials are still negotiating with the Russian railways.
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The total value of the Estonian agricultural sector will increase by 9 percent in 2012, according to initial data, forming 816 million euros, reports Public Broadcasting. The figures are based on Eurostat estimates. Forty-nine percent of the total production of the Estonian agricultural sector is from crop farming, 48 percent by production of animal farming and 3 percent by agricultural services. In earlier years, animal farming production has exceeded crop farming, the Estonian Agriculture Ministry said. Dairy production value traditionally forms the largest part of the agricultural produce value in Estonia (nearly 25 percent) and although milk production increased, a price fall reduced the value of milk production by 5 percent.