Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius say that Polish-owned oil refinery Orlen Lietuva and the state-owned railway company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) should resume negotiations over transportation rates that broke down in May.

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© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

The Lithuanian ministers held a meeting on Monday with Vice-Secretary Michal Kurtyka of Poland's Energy Ministry, the Polish government's Chancellor for Energy Piotr Naimski and Wojcief Jasinski, the head of PKN Orlen which owns the refinery in northern Lithuania.

The Polish delegation would not answer questions from reporters, but PM Butkevičius said there would be steps to resume talks between Orlen Lietuva and Lithuanian Railways.

"We agreed that they [talks] would be resumed and should probably be concluded within a month. It has been agreed that cargo transportation rates should be separated from other services," Butkevičius said.

Energy Minister Sinkevičius noted that the dispute was one between two business companies and should be sorted out in talks or courts.

The dispute between Orlen Lietuva and Lithuanian Railways concerns transportation rates for the refinery's products to a terminal in Klaipėda, on the Baltic coast.

Orlen Lietuva has been unhappy with the rates it has been charged by Lithuanian Railways and has unilaterally decided to pay less than agreed in a contract signed in 1999.

As a result, Lithuanian Railways has brought a number of court causes against Orlen Lietuva, which responded in kinds. Both companies seek millions in damages for either inflated service rates or lost revenue.

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