Lithuania has to be proactive in competing with Russian ports for cargoes, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday morning.
Klaipėda port
© DELFI / Kęstutis Cemnolonskis

"Naturally, Russia has geopolitical and economic interests to support its ports. When it comes to oil product handling and transportation, they are trying to go through the economic prism and to get Belarus interested and thus naturally support its ports," Skvernelis said on LRT Radio.

"In this competitive struggle, we have to be active, proactive. And this is what both Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) and Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipėda Oil) have been doing, thinking about their future markets. I think the task of these two state-owned companies is to do their best to have as many customers as possible. This is very important for our state, for our economy," he said.

Russia and Belarus have failed to agree on the gas price for more than half a year now. Amid a shortage of crude due to a cut in Russian oil deliveries, Belarus' refineries sell almost all fuel they produce in the domestic market and their exports via the port of Klaipėda have almost stopped.

As a result of this, Klaipėdos Nafta posted a 23 percent year-on-year drop in oil product loadings for the first two months of this year and Lietuvos Geležinkeliai saw oil product shipments slump down by 63 percent.

The Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) notes in its latest annual threat assessment report that the dispute between Russia and Belarus over oil supplies is having a negative impact on Lithuanian companies. Also, Russia is pressing Belarus to export its oil products via Russian seaports in exchange for cuts in rail transportation rates.

The Klaipėda seaport handled a total of 6.841 million tons of cargo in the first two months of 2017, up 5.1 percent from 6.508 million tons a year earlier.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Baltic States seek a single regional assessment

Ministers of finance of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the European Commission and NASDAQ appealed...

LMT presents three digital service innovations at Baltic Mobile Congress

LMT (Latvian Mobile Telephone) is the telecommunications market leader in Latvia and a digital service...

CERN is considering the possibility of establishing business incubation centre

Last week, CERN delegation paid a visit to Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Santaka Valley. The...

Israeli cloud services integrator chooses Vilnius for European base

TeraSky, a leading Israeli cloud solutions integrator, has just announced the opening of its European...

The popular French fashion brand „Gémo“ enters the Baltic States: first store in Lithuania – in 2019

The popular French fashion brand „Gémo“ entered the Baltic States - the first regional store was...