The European Commission has warned Lithuania about sanctions over two issues: the market domination of its state-owned railway company and restrictions on selling land to foreigners. Minister of Transport Rimantas Sinkevičius says the sanctions are not unexpected.
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"I could not say that we are surprised, Brussels have been looking into the situation of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) which is possibly in breach of EU law," Sinkevičius has told Lietuvos Rytas commenting on the €43-million fine that Lithuania is facing.

He says that Lithuania needs to restructure its railway monopoly in order to meet the requirements of the EU's "fourth railway package" of liberalization measures.

Responding to talks that Lietuvos Geležinkeliai might be split into two companies, Sinkevičius said they were partly true.

"I think a good example for us to follow would be Germany's Deutsche Bahn. It is a structure of separate companies that are still held together by a single holding," he says.

"The EC has yet to make any decisions about Lietuvos Geležinkeliai. We will negotiate the best option for our country in terms of economy, transparent management and competition."

Speaking about the EC's demand that Lithuania lift restrictions on selling agricultural land to foreigners, Sinkevičius said he was suspicious of drives to liberalize everything.

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