2020.08.18 09:37

Strikes in Belarus may affect Lithuanian companies, says PM

BNS2020.08.18 09:37

As workers in Belarus’ largest enterprises go on strike, companies in Lithuania that handle their exports may be affected, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Monday.

"We have no concrete signals yet, but any economic disturbance in the neighbouring country may have an impact," Skvernelis told reporters, commenting on the potential economic impact of the ongoing protests in Belarus. "Belarus is a rather important economic partner".

"We haven't yet received any signals from Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) and the seaport of Klaipėda, but we're watching the situation and it's really worrying," he added.

The striks have affected Belaruskali, one of the world's largest fertiliser producers which exports its produce via state-owned Lithuanian Railways and the port of Klaipėda. Lithuanian Railways also transports Belarusian refineries' oil products to Klaipeda where they are loaded onto ships by Klaipėdos Nafta.

Read more: Lithuania ready to increase Belarusian transit volumes via Klaipėda port, PM says

Lithuania's embassy in Minsk told BNS that about 600 Lithuanian-owned companies operate in the neighbouring country.

Investors from Lithuania include the SBA Group, which owns large factories, and Vakarų Medienos Grupė (VMG), one of the largest wood processing and furniture production groups in the Baltics.

Kauno Grūdai, Eugesta, Audimas and other Lithuanian companies also have operations in Belarus,.

Vidmantas Janulevičius, the president of the Lithuanian Industrialists' Confederation, told BNS that about 20 Lithuanian-owned companies have each invested over 5 million to 10 million euros in Belarus.

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