Lithuania mulls route to transport Ukrainian grains via Belarus

Lithuania mulls route to transport Ukrainian grains via Belarus

If the world community can talk about the lack of food in the world because it is 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 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. Skuodis told reporters on Tuesday that this would require a certain humanitarian corridor through Belarus.

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

The transport minister said that if a Ukrainian shipment came from Belarus, we would certainly accept it, but it is first of all the duty of international institutions to reach certain agreements.

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 quite large amounts, some 8 million tons excluding the Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas Bulk Cargo Terminal and with investments into capacity, this could be increased. The minister said that Lithuania could bring 1.5 million tons of Ukrainian grain per year because of the infrastructural constraints in Poland.

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 is scheduled to bring various goods in containers from Ukraine via Poland to Kaunas. If the route is successful, it will be used to transport grains.