20 Apr 2023 14:14

Lithuania ready to help Ukraine export up to 1 mln tonnes of grain by rail

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) - The Lithuanian government can help Ukraine export up to 1 million tonnes of grain by rail now that Poland has temporarily banned Ukrainian grain imports, Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite said.

"The Klaipeda port and Lithuanian Railways can play a very important role in sending an impulse to help Poland deal with the situation and guarantee grain exports outside the EU. Lithuania can help safe transportation of up to 1 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine by rail. That would be a realistic option for Ukraine and assistance to Poland," the Ukrainian media quoted Verslo zinios's report on Armonaite's statement.

Meanwhile Association of Lithuanian Stevedoring Companies President Vaidotas Sileika said that the Klaipeda port was able to transship over 1 million tonnes of grain per year but it was impossible to bring in larger amounts because of complicated logistics.

"Lithuanian Railways started to transport inconsiderable amounts of Ukrainian grain to the Klaipeda port via Poland in May of last year. The main problem is different rail gauges. Ukraine and Lithuania are still using Russian-standard gauges, while Poland uses European ones, which means the rolling stock has to be replaced on the border," Sileika said.