Lithuania's outgoing Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis sees no possibility for Arvydas Vaitkus, the former chief executive officer of the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, to return to head any strategic state enterprise.
Arvydas Vaitkus
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Masiulis says he's aware of the circulating talks that some of the managers of state enterprises he's appointed might be replaced, including those of the country's state-run railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG).

"I hear those talks that executives might be replaced, but one needs arguments to replace an executive. And if there are objective argument is one thing. But the wish to dispose of is another thing," Masiulis told a press conference on Wednesday.

Commenting on Vaitkus' chances of being reinstated as the port's CEO, Masiulis said it's hardly possible.

"It would be practically impossible speaking of the port of Klaipeda due to the existing court rulings and the conclusions of the ethic watchdog on public and private interests. And it's also impossible speaking of LG, as Vaitkus is involved in activity with people whose enterprises have interests in the railway business," Masiulis said.

Vaitkus, who managed the port of Klaipeda since 2013, was dismissed from the port of Klaipeda in March after Masiulis raised doubts whether Vaitkus could be impartial towards companies which backed him during the municipal and mayoral elections.

The public broadcaster LRT reported in January that people linked to one another through Klaipeda businesses had donated 44,000 euros for the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's election campaign in the port city.

They reportedly included Igor Udovickij, a Klaipeda businessman dubbed "the king of Belarusian fertilizers", and his wife. Other LFGU candidates who won seats on the Klaipeda council include Vidmantas Dambrauskas, the CEO of Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas (Bulk Cargo Terminal), and Arunas Tuma, the owner of Kamineros Grupe. Both men made the maximum allowed donations of almost 8,800 euros each to the LFGU election campaign.

In March, Vaitkus was elected to Klaipeda's municipal council on the LFGU list but lost the mayoral runoff.

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