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Lithuania Terminates Railways Contract To Transport Belarus-Produced Potash

Lithuania has terminated its state-owned railway contract with Minsk on the transportation of Belarusian potash amid U.S. sanctions imposed on Belaruskali, the potash-producing giant.

The Baltic state’s government on January 12 approved the decision by a special commission, which noted that the agreement between Lithuanian Railways and Belaruskali was not in the interests of Lithuania’s national security.

Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis told reporters that the agreement will be annulled as of February 1.

Belaruskali was added to the U.S. sanctions list in August last year.

The U.S. Treasury in December issued a general license authorizing the winding down of transactions involving Belaruskali’s marketing arm, the Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) until April 1, blaming Minsk for creating a migration crisis on the EU-Belarus border.

A scandal erupted in Lithuania in December after it turned out that the Baltic state’s companies continue to ship Belarusian potash products, a key ingredient in fertilizer, through its rail network and port of Klaipeda to markets in the EU and elsewhere.

The continuing trade with the Lukashenka regime has sparked controversy in Lithuania, with some calling for the government to step down.

Based on reporting by Delfi and Reuters

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