Lukashenko threatens Lithuania again – this time over the port of Klaipėda

Klaipėda Seaport
Klaipėda sea port A.Didžgalvis photo

The illegitimate President of Belarus, Aliaksandr Lukashenko, has demanded tough measures in response to Lithuania’s takeover of Belarus’ shares in the port of Klaipėda, writing at news portal.

He expressed this position towards Lithuania at a meeting on the 11th of August to discuss actions related to the preparation of port facilities for Belarusian exports, Belarusian state media BelTA reports.

“We must take measures in response to Lithuania’s confiscation of its stake in the port of Klaipėda,” said Belarus’ illegitimate President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Lukashenko pointed out that in addition to the sanctions on the shipment of potash fertiliser, Lithuania had also effectively seized the assets of a Belarusian company in Klaipėda. Since 2013, Belaruskalij has held a 30% stake in the Klaipėda bulk terminal BKT.

“Not only did they impose illegal sanctions. They have also seized our assets,” the illegitimate President of Belarus told the meeting. – This cannot go unpunished. Think about the measures we can take in the short and medium term. No one is allowed to appropriate our assets.”

During the meeting, Lukashenko also mentioned the closure of Belarusian sanatoriums in Lithuania and Latvia due to sanctions.

“It is not enough that they have started to persecute our sanatorium, where Chornobyl recovery workers were treated [the Belarusian sanatorium in Jurmala, Latvia, has been closed due to the sanctions], but they have also started to confiscate our property. This is big money. That is why we should take measures today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

Fertiliser decision

After a Lithuanian court of the first instance ruled in April that a contract between Belaruskalij, one of the largest Belarusian fertiliser producers, and Lietuvos geležinkeliai for the transport of millions of tonnes of fertiliser through Lithuania was a threat to national security, the Belarusian company has appealed the decision.

In May, Audris Kutrevičius of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (VRAAT) confirmed that he had received the appeal and forwarded it to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

“The transit of Belaruskalij fertilisers through Lithuania continued for almost three months after the US sanctions against the company came into force on the 8th of December last year. The transit from the border with Belarus to the port of Klaipėda lasted for more than a decade and, according to the contract, was to continue until the end of 2023.

LTG Cargo, a rail freight company, used to transport around 11 million tonnes of Belaruskalij cargo per year, which was handled at the Klaipėda port by a bulk terminal controlled by businessman Igor Udovitsky and Belaruskalij.

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