PM: Lithuania financially capable of stopping Belarus fertilizer exports via its port

  • 2021-08-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania is financially capable of stopping Belarusian fertilizer shipments via its seaport of Klaipeda, but such a decision would require approval from all EU member states, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Wednesday. 

"Financially, Lithuania is fully capable of stopping the transit [shipments], but legally, [...]   the EU will solve this issue only when it has the approval of all 27 member states," Simonyte told reporters. 

"Lithuania has raised this issue with the EU institutions," she added. "Financially, there is probably no burden that would somehow lead Lithuania to kneel or compromise on its own principles."   

Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that Belarusian fertilizer exports via Lithuania might be completely stopped once sanctions against the neighboring country are expanded. 

He added that no decisions on expanding the sanctions would be made until September.

The EU imposed sanctions on Belarusian fertilizer exports in late June, but the measure applies to around 20 percent of fertilizers shipped via Lithuania and only to contracts concluded after June 26.

Igor Udovickij, the key shareholder of Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas (Bulk Cargo Terminal), a Klaipeda port operator that handles Belarusian fertilizer exports, told BNS last month that all of the company's contracts with Belaruskali were long-term, but he gave no details.