Belaruskali has lodged an appeal in a Vilnius court against the Lithuanian government's decision to order state-owned Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LTG) to terminate its long-term contract with the US-sanctioned Belarusian potash fertilizer giant.
Belaruskali appeals against Lithuania's decision to terminate rail transit contract
© Itar-Tass / Scanpix

Audris Kutrevicius of Vilnius Regional Administrative Court has confirmed to BNS that the appeal was received on Friday.

The Belarusian company is asking the court to annul the government's decision of January 12 and the December 21 decision of a special governmental commission vetting deals by strategic enterprises, according to the spokesman.

Based on the commission's conclusion that LTG's contract with Belaruskali is not in line with national security interests, the Cabinet decided on January 12 that the deal has to be terminated as of February 1.

Transport Minister Marius Skuodis then said that fertilizer shipments under the contract must stop by that date because the government’s decision leaves no legal basis for them to continue.

"Naturally, any decision can be appealed by legal persons, but on the government's side, we feel firm and we are doing what we are mandated by law to do," he said at the time.

The minister described the Cabinet's decision as to the first step toward stopping the transit of Belaruskali fertilizers via Lithuania.

The contract was signed by LTG and Belaruskali in the spring of 2018 and was to remain in effect until the end of 2023.

It provides for the transport of about 11 million tons of Belarusian fertilizers via Lithuania to the seaport of Klaipeda annually.

Belaruskali product shipments via Lithuania did not stop after the US sanctions came into force on December 8, because the Belarusian company had made an advance payment to LTG, sufficient to cover the cost of rail services for several months.

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