Klaipėda unaffected by Belarus threat

Port of Klaipeda The Port of Klaipeda has not lost any cargo from Belarus. Photo: Port of Klaipeda

The Port of Klaipeda has said business remains normal following a threat by the president of Belarus to re-route import and export cargo through Russian ports.

In August, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia imposed travel bans on President Alexander Lukashenko and 29 other Belarusian officials following accusations of election fraud. Longstanding president Lukashenko retaliated by threatening to block the handling of Belarusian cargo at the Port of Klaipeda but no action has been taken and the port has not recorded a decrease in the flow of Belarusian cargo.

Algis Latakas, CEO of Klaipeda Port, told Port Strategy: “Economically boycott would make no sense and would be solely political.”

He said the port believe a boycott would be possible only for a short term, because in practical terms  it would prove to be complicated considering the technology and logistics requirements involved.

The Port of Klaipėda handles around 46m tonnes of cargo per year and more than 30% of this is Belarusian.

Oil and fertiliser are major export commodities from Belarus. Since 2006, Klaipeda has been the main port for Belarusian cargo to go through, said Mr Latakas.

Belarus has the shortest distance to the sea through the Port of Klaipeda. Alternative cargo routes involving more land transportation would be more expensive.

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