aA
The European Commission on Monday imposed a 27.87-million-euro fine for the state-run company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) for restricting competition by dismantling a railway stretch between Mazeikiai and the Latvian town of Renge in 2008.
Lithuanian railway
Lithuanian railway
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"It is unacceptable and unprecedented that a company dismantles a public rail infrastructure to protect itself from competition," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The commission found that dismantled rails forced the Polish concern Orlen to transport freight to Latvia on a much longer route. According to the finding, Lietuvos Geležinkeliai failed to prove that the railways had to be dismantled for objective reasons.

Lithuania can appeal against the fine with the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (EU). Furthermore, payment of the fine would not eliminate the duty for Lithuania to remove the breach, while affected countries could file further claims.

Lithuania's officials maintain that the railway line had been dismantled for security reasons. At the time, the government was headed by Gediminas Kirkilas, Algirdas Butkevičius served as transport and communications minister, while Stasys Dailydka was the CEO of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai.

Lithuania's railway Co to seek smallest damage after EC fine - CEO

LG said it would analyze the Monday's EC decision in detail before deciding on further steps.

"We will seek to settle this inherited issue, as well as the other problems that keep emerging form the past, in the most optimum way that would cause the smallest damage for Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai. It is still early to specify the path we will take, we first want to look into the EC argumentation – we have time for this," Bartuska said in a press release.

Earlier on Monday, EC imposed a 27.87-million-euro fine for LG for restricting competition by dismantling a railway stretch between Mazeikiai and the Latvian town of Renge in 2008.

LG said the Renge stretch was one of the alternative railway routes to Latvia, however, not the only route. According to the company, it was dismantled due to its extremely poor condition and lack of safety, however, the possibility of railway communication to Latvia remained. Back when the Renge line was still in use in 2007, the volume of oil products delivered from Lithuania to Latvia was 675,000 tons.

After the Renge stretch was no longer available, the volume of crude exports from Lithuania to Latvia was between 480,000 and 941,000 tons per year. Last year, 844,00 tons of oil products were delivered from Lithuania to Latvia by rail.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Official: ban on Ukrainian poultry imports won't affect our market

The European Commission's ban on imports of Ukrainian poultry meat and poultry products will have...

Some 200 new points of sale of illegal tobacco emerged

204 new points of sale of illegal tobacco emerged in Lithuania, with their number going up by a...

Tourism: Lithuania had biggest growth of nights spent in EU

In 2019, the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation in the European Union (EU) is expected...

No contamination found in Curonian Lagoon fish

Tests have found no contamination in fish from the Curonian Lagoon despite the release of untreated...

Debates started to get a grip on environmental polluters

The of Lithuanian Seimas during its extraordinary session on Thursday started deliberating a package...

Top news

Crazy about coffee: Ukrainian is looking for best cafe in Vilnius (4)

Some people have a passion. For Ukrainian student Oleksandra Kyryliuk coffee is her number one...

Plans to commemorate Baltic Way by naming roads

Lithuania plans to commemorate the Baltic Way , which took place more than 30 years ago, by naming...

Official: ban on Ukrainian poultry imports won't affect our market

The European Commission's ban on imports of Ukrainian poultry meat and poultry products will have...

Foreign ministry advised against travel to central China due to coronavirus

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has advised Lithuanian citizens against traveling to China 's central...

Number of barred people up as immigration grows

The number of people barred to enter Lithuania rose last year, and the country's State Border Guard...