RIGA - Ukrainian company Metinvest will repay its debt to Latvian locomotive repair company Daugavpils Lokomotivju Remonta Rupnica (DLRR) in several installments and has already made the first payment of EUR 900,000, LETA was told at DLRR.
According to the company's representatives, DLRR is now waiting for the next installment of EUR 1.3 million to be transferred to its account.
DLRR representatives also indicated that previously receiving payments from Metinvest had been impossible due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the situation severely affected the Latvian company's operations.
According to the DLRR representatives, Ukrainian authorities have made an exception for Metinvest and allowed it to pay off the debt to DLRR. This is the only trans-border payment Metinvest is permitted to make.
"In providing such permission, the Ukrainian government has asserted the significance of DLRR for the Ukrainian economy and logistics sector, because without DLRR, transportation of Ukraine's rail freight and post-war reconstruction of the country's railway infrastructure will not be possible," said DLRR supervisory board chairperson Anastasija Udalova.
As reported, at the beginning of May, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov sent a letter to Latvian Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (Conservatives) stating that "DLRR's experience accumulated over the years, unique operations and ability to provide a full range of services will be crucial in rebuilding Ukraine's railroad infrastructure after the war."
Management of DLRR's partner, Ukrainian company Metinvest, also sent an official letter to the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia, pointing to the strategic importance of DLRR in reconstruction of the damaged rail infrastructure and equipment of Ukraine.
In his letter, Kubrakov points out that there are targeted attacks on Ukrainian railroads and infrastructure. The letter says that Ukraine's ability to repair rolling stock and locomotives is limited, as Ukrainian plants and other strategic facilities are regularly threatened by explosions and targeted attacks.
In his letter, Kubrakov says he hopes for cooperation with countries supporting Ukraine and their companies, pointing out DLRR is one such strategically important company in Latvia. It could provide repairs to rolling stock of the Ukrainian railroad company Ukrzaliznytsia. Kubrakov refers to the high quality maintenance and overhaul of rolling stock done by DLRR, as well as mutual trust between DLRR and Ukrzaliznytsia as a result of successful cooperation in the past.
Metinvest Director General Aleksandr Gerasimchuk also sent an official letter to the government of Latvia, stating that the company had been informed about financial difficulties faced by DLRR.
Gerasimchuk also emphasized repairs of railway equipment in Ukraine had become completely inaccessible as a result of the war. DLRR is currently one of the key partners to Metinvest, and the company is extremely interested in the Daugavpils plant continuing to fulfill orders, providing repair and modernization of locomotives.
Metinvest also owns Azovstal steel plant, which was besieged and eventually completely destroyed by Russian armed forces.
As reported, DLRR and its subsidiaries SIA LokRem, SIA DL Metal and SIA Logkom at the end of March sent an application to the State Employment Agency on a collective lay-off of 240 employees.
They pointed out that the Russian war Ukraine had severely affected the work of DLRR. Metinvest Group's indebtedness to DLRR currently amounts to EUR 8,229,550 for orders placed on the Ukrainian market. The Ukrainian company, although ready to pay, could not do so because Ukraine had decided to suspend all payments outside the country.
Representatives of the DLRR pointed out that the company has repeatedly approached the Prime Minister of Latvia, the Ministers of Economy, Finance, Welfare, Foreign Affairs, Defense and Environmental Protection and Regional Development, as well as the Development Finance Institution Altum, explaining the situation and calling for the necessary support in this emergency - temporary cash-flow support.