Minister of Transport: the Ukrainian grain corridor via Belarus under study
“If the world community can talk about the lack of food in the world because it is impossible to export Ukrainian grain, then we must dare to unblock the ports (of Ukraine – BNS) to allow ships to leave. The second option is to use the existing infrastructure and the transport of grain via Belarus, which would allow us to use the full capacity of the port of Klaipeda, as well as the capacity of the Latvian and Estonian ports.This would require a certain humanitarian corridor via Belarus,” Skuodis told reporters on Tuesday.
Discussions on such a corridor are ongoing, the minister said, but this should be the responsibility of international institutions, including the United Nations or the European Commission.
“The talks (on the corridor – BNS) are ongoing, but above all it is the duty of the international institutions to reach certain agreements because if a Ukrainian cargo came from Belarus, we would certainly accept it”, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Transport. .
According to him, the main problem of transporting grain from Ukraine to Lithuania bypassing Belarus is the underdeveloped railway infrastructure in the western direction, since currently only 2-3 trains a day can go to Lithuania via Poland.
“The port of Klaipeda is capable of handling quite large quantities, around 8 million tons, excluding the Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas (Bulk Cargo Terminal), and with investments in capacity this could be increased. Unfortunately, in Due to infrastructural constraints in Poland, we can now bring 1-1.5 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to Lithuania per year,” the minister said.
The logistics between Ukraine and Lithuania is also undermined by the different railway gauges, as the Russian gauge is still used in Ukraine and Lithuania, while the European gauge is used in Poland, which means that rolling stock has to be changed when transporting goods.
Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LTG), the country’s state-owned railway company, sent a pilot train to Ukraine in early May and plans are underway to deliver various goods in containers from Ukraine via Poland to Kaunas . If the road proves successful, it will then be used to transport grain.
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