MADRID, Jan. 31 (Royals Blue) –
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has warned this Monday that he will take “retaliation” against Lithuania after the non-renewal of the contract for the transport of Belarusian potash fertilizer through Lithuanian territory and to the Baltic Sea.
“If Lithuania does not allow the transit of Belarusian goods through its territory, the Belarusian government will apply various retaliatory measures against Lithuania,” Lukashenko said, according to the official Belarusian news agency, BelTA.
This Monday at midnight the contract for rail transit of Belarusian potash fertilizer through Lithuania and to the Baltic port of Klaipeda expires as a result of US sanctions on Belarus.
The Belaruskali company is one of the main producers and exporters of this fertilizer, which it produces for a value of about 11 million euros per year.
Between six and seven 60-car trains carrying some 5,000 tons of fertilizer cross daily from Belarus to the Baltic under a 2018 contract with the Lithuanian transport company LTG. Since LTG announced in January the end of the contract, several companies have requested the tender from the Lithuanian authorities, but none of these requests have been approved.
Lukashenko met on Monday with the Prime Minister, Roman Golovchenko, and with the directors of Belaruskali and the Belarusian Potash Company.
“If, for example, Lithuania does not want to let our goods through to the port and have them loaded there, well, let them do what they want. But if that happens, we will take retaliatory measures against Lithuania literally in a matter of days,” he said. warned Lukashenko.
“I just want the Lithuanians to know it. They blame me indiscriminately. I want to underline it once again: we do not initiate any process that leads to unrest with Lithuania, Latvia, Poland or Ukraine. We do not need it,” he assured.
In any case, it has left the door open for negotiation. “We are ready to negotiate. If they continue to pressure us, then we will put in place the plan that we have. I have warned them. The people of Lithuania, Poland and other countries must understand that we are simply responding to these challenges,” he argued.
On Friday, Lukashenko said that the Baltic countries could lose their independence if a war breaks out. “Don’t even imagine starting a war together with other Baltic countries. It would mean the end of your independence as states and of your development,” Lukashenko said during a speech before Parliament.
In a message “not only for the authorities, but also for its people”, Lukashenko assured that “without the support of the United States, Poland and Lithuania would continue to be in a gray corner of Europe, forever”.