VILNIUS - Lithuania should seize the opportunity to export more Ukrainian grain via its seaport of Klaipeda after additional investments, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis says.
"Lithuania can contribute to grain exports from Ukraine via Poland. The existing volumes are limited due to the need to changes gauges because the gauge in Poland is different from that in Ukraine and Lithuania, but with additional investment the volumes can grow significantly," Landsbergis told a press conference in Vilnius on Wednesday.
He called exports of Ukrainian grain via Klaipeda "a great opportunity", adding that such exports would also benefit Ukraine and Poland.
"It's certainly a win-win situation for everyone: for Ukraine, of course, because of the revenue, and for Lithuania because of the transit revenue, the transport revenue and the port revenue. And for Poland as it has also found a way out of the situation, despite internal pressures," Lithuania's top diplomat said.
Lithuania may help Ukraine to export up to one million tons of grain by rail, Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite said on Tuesday.
Logistics experts estimate that only about 1 million tons of Ukrainian grain could go via Lithuania per year because the country's logistics chain, primarily the railway system, is not ready to handle such large volumes.
Last Saturday, Poland temporarily banned imports of grains and other food from Ukraine until June 30 to protect the interests of local farmers. But the two countries agreed on Tuesday that Poland would allow the transit of Ukrainian grains via its territory.