A recent incident near an oil terminal owned by the Polish company Orlen has drawn attention to security at the facility which is a vital part of Lithuania's energy infrastructure. If the company cannot protect it, the Lithuanian state may have to step in, the interior minister has commented.

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Būtingė Oil Terminal
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

A German yacht crossed the Lithuanian border in early hours of last Saturday, after which it sailed unnoticed by border guard or military radars. The yacht later crashed into a tanker next to the Būtingė oil terminal.

The yachtsman was later tested for blood alcohol, which was 1.5 per mille in his bloodstream.

Interior Minister Tomas Žilinskas has commented on Wednesday that unless Orlen Lietuva, the terminal's owner, draws conclusions from the incident, the Lithuanian state may have to start guarding it.

"I think everything will be good, if Orlen Lietuva draws conclusions and steps up protection. However, if they think that things are good after the incident, we should indeed raise the question of the economic entity's capacity to protect the terminal," Žilinskas told BNS.

He said that the Public Security Service could guard the off-shore terminal in the Baltic Sea, as it is in charge of safety of the country's other strategic energy objects.

The minister said that the Interior Ministry had suggested to Orlen Lietuva to take over the protection of the Būtingė oil terminal, but the company then declined the offer. It has hired a security firm for the job, even though the terminal is considered strategic infrastructure and its protection is regulated by decree of the energy minister.

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