26 Feb 2024 15:53

Lithuania mulls following Latvia in restricting Russian grain imports

VILNIUS. Feb 26 (Interfax/BNS) - The Lithuanian Agriculture Ministry is planning to impose restrictions on grain imports from Russia, while their complete ban is not under consideration, the Lithuanian national TV and radio company reported Rokas Petrasiunas, an advisor to the agriculture minister, as saying.

"A ban is not an easy undertaking in principle, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and all [other] international organizations are putting strong pressure on us because of global hunger. And besides, if you take, for instance, transport restrictions, this is quite a toxic subject. And the Latvians will face a lot of criticism for their ban, and that's why I think not everything will go exactly as planned here," Petrasiunas said.

Lithuanian farmers, who staged protests in January, have called on the government to restrict transit shipments of Russian grain across the country's territory. Lithuanian Agriculture Council Chairman Ignas Hofmanas suggested that part of this grain ends up in Lithuania.

However, Agriculture Minister Kestutis Navickas said the volume of Russian grain passing through Lithuania is very small, and all of it is shipped to ports.

The Latvian parliament resolved last week to impose a temporary ban on imports of Russian and Belarusian agricultural produce and feedstuffs. The ban will remain in effect at least until mid-2025 and may be extended if necessary. Latvia sees its step as complementing the European Union's common sanctions policy.