Cargo, Latvia, Lithuania, Railways, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 18.11.2019, 09:29

LGC Cargo, Gargzdu Gelezinkelis denied permits to carry freight across Lithuania again

BC, Vilnius, 18.10.2019.Print version
LGC Cargo, a Lithuanian railway services company that is indirectly linked to former Latvian political heavyweights and Russian Railways (RZD) via its Latvian majority shareholder Baltic Transit Service, has failed this year, just like last year, to obtain the necessary permit to carry freight across Lithuania, reported LETA/BNS.

Justas Rasomavicius, deputy director at the Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration (LTSA), told that the company had been only allocated capacity for 2019-2020 on non-congested railway lines, with no capacity provided where there could be signs of transit.  


LGC Cargo applied for authorization to transport freight across Lithuania's entire railway network and all of its border crossings with Belarus, Latvia and Russia's Kaliningrad region. 


The company does not deny that freight would go from Russia or Kazakhstan via Latvia, Lithuania and Kaliningrad to Poland, but insists that it would not be transit. 


Just like last year, LGC Cargo obtained authorization for freight transportation from Latvia to Bugeniai, a northwestern Lithuanian village where Orlen Lietuva's crude refinery is located, and from Vilnius to Kaunas as well as some other internal routes. 


However, the company did not use the allocated capacity, resulting in a revenue loss for the state, Rasomavicius said. 


According to the official, Gargzdu Gelezinkelis, a company owned by Igor Udovickij, the owner of Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas (Bulk Cargo Terminal, or BKT), applied for authorization to carry freight from Belarus to the port of Klaipeda but was not allocated any capacity because the lines are congested.  


Transit freight and passenger shipments between third countries via Lithuania can only be carried out by the state railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG). 


LG's subsidiaries LG Cargo and LG Keleiviams (LG for Passengers) obtained all the permits they applied for this year. 


Udovickij holds 70 percent of shares in BKT, which mostly handles Belaruskali's exports via the port of Klaipeda, and the Belarusian potash fertilizer manufacturer owns the remaining 30 percent. 


LGC Cargo filed a complaint against Lithuania with the European Commission earlier this year. 

 

Ainars Slesers, Latvia's former transport minister and now chairman of LGC Cargo's supervisory board, said in Vilnius last spring that the company wanted to engage in freight transportation in Lithuania but had artificial obstacles put in its way. 

 






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