Baltic States – CIS, Belarus, Energy, Gas, Latvia, Legislation, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 08.08.2020, 12:05

Police probe alleged falsificatiodn of ocuments in the dispute between Druzhba and LatRosTrans

BC, Riga, 01.07.2020.Print version
Police have started a probe into allegations that some documents have been falsified to enable Polotsktransneft Druzhba win a legal dispute with LatRosTrans pipeline operator, legal representatives of LatRodTrans informed LETA.

LatRosTrans has filed complaints about the alleged falsification of documents with the State Police and also the Prosecutor General's Office. LatRodTrans has asked the law enforcement authorities to investigate and call to account the person or persons who produced at a court hearing allegedly forged documents of 1992 related to the ownership and finances of the Druzhba oil pipeline. 

The disputed documents served as evidence to prove that the technical oil inside the pipeline was not distributed based on the territorial principle. An appeals court ruled in favor of Polotsktransneft Druzhba and ordered LatRosTrans to pay EUR 66,744,966 to Polotsktransneft Druzhba for illegally removing the oil from the pipeline and selling it. 

The regional court's ruling was appealed before the Supreme Court, which is expected to deliver its verdict soon.

As reported, in June 2018, Latgale Regional Court has ordered LatRosTrans pipeline operator to pay EUR 66,744,966 to Polotsktransneft Druzhba for unlawfully removing from its pipe and selling technical oil, which according to the court’s ruling, belonged to the plaintiff.

LatRosTrans was also ordered to pay the court duty and litigation costs.

Vitol Baltics CEO Robert Kirkup told LETA earlier that the ruling in this case would be important not only to LatRosTrans as it would provide clarity about the ownership of Soviet-time assets in Latvia. Kirup said he was disappointed that the legal dispute over technical oil from the LatRosTrans--operated pipeline was sent back to the appeals court for repeated hearing. This is a highly significant case not only for us because it is not only about us. This is a question of how far companies can rely on assets that have remained in Latvia form the times of the former Soviet Union, Kirkup said, noting that the outcome of the court proceedings would be important not only for LatRosTrans but also for other companies’ stability in Latvia.

Polotsktransneft Druzhba filed a lawsuit claiming that the 109,996 tons of technical oil in the LatRosTrans--operated pipeline was its property.

In December 2011, Latgale Regional Court ruled in favor of LatRosTrans. The verdict was appealed before the Supreme Court whose Civil Cases Chamber rejected the appeal in December 2013.

In December 2016, the Civil Cases Department of the Supreme Court overruled decision of the Civil Cases Chamber and sent the case back to Latgale Regional Court for a repeated hearing.

LatRosTrans operates the Polotsk-Ventspils and Polotsk-Mazeikiai oil pipelines leading to the northwestern Latvian port of Ventspils and Mazeikiai oil refinery in Lithuania. LatRosTrans shareholders are the Latvian holding company Ventspils Nafta (66 percent), and the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneftprodukt (34 percent).

In 2018, LatRosTrans turned over EUR 8,444,483, down 15 percent from 2017, and made a EUR 178,657 profit, according to information available at

Search site