2021.08.04 13:47

Lithuania may stop all Belarusian fertiliser exports – FM

BNS2021.08.04 13:47

Exports of Belarusian fertilisers via Lithuania might be completely stopped once sanctions against Minsk are expanded, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Wednesday.

Vilnius has already submitted formal proposals to Brussels to expand the existing sectoral sanctions for Belarus, calling to include more Belaruskali fertilisers exported via the Lithuanian port of Klaipėda.

Asked if such exports could be stopped, Landsbergis said that such an option was possible.

"It's possible to stop completely. I would say, yes, it’s realistic. Real negotiations have not started yet, therefore, it's too soon to speak about that," the minister told reporters on Wednesday ahead of a Cabinet meeting.

Belaruskali is one of the world’s biggest potash fertiliser producers and considered to be a key lifeline for the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. A large share of Belaruskali produce is exported via Lithuania’s Klaipėda.

Read more: EU hit Belarus regime lifeline running via Lithuania – but to what effect?

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

Landsbergis said no decisions on expanding the sanctions would be made until September.

"As to when we can do that, the councils will start working again in September at the earliest," he said. "There is no format for doing it today, but a formal request has been submitted."

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

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