Lithuania mulls bypassing Belarus to transport grains to Lithuania

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Lithuania mulls bypassing Belarus to transport grains to Lithuania

If the world community can talk about the lack of food in the world because it's impossible to export Ukrainian grains, then we need to unblock the ports of Ukraine - BNS to allow ships to leave. The second option is to use the existing infrastructure and transport grains via Belarus, which would allow us to use the full capacity of the port of Klaipeda, as well as the capacity of Latvian and Estonian ports. This would require a certain humanitarian corridor through Belarus, Skuodis told reporters on Tuesday.

The minister said that there are still conversations on the corridor but it should be the responsibility of international institutions, including the United Nations or the European Commission.

There are talks on the corridor BNS, but it is first of all the duty of international institutions to reach certain agreements, because if a Ukrainian shipment came from Belarus, we would certainly accept it, the transport minister said.

The main problem of transporting Ukrainian grains to Lithuania bypassing Belarus is the undeveloped railway infrastructure in the western direction, as currently only 2 to 3 trains a day can go to Lithuania via Poland.

The port of Klaipeda is capable of handling large amounts, some 8 million tons, excluding the Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas Bulk Cargo Terminal, and with investment into capacity, this could be increased. The Minister said that because of the infrastructural constraints in Poland, we can now bring 1 -- 1.5 million tons of Ukrainian grain per year to Lithuania.

Logistics between Ukraine and Lithuania are afflicted by different railway gauges, as the Russian gauge is still used in Ukraine and Lithuania, while the European gauge is used in Poland, so rolling stock needs 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 will bring various goods in containers from Ukraine via Poland to Kaunas. It will be used to transport grains if the route is successful.