Meeting to discuss the creation of port facilities to export Belarusian products

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko convened a meeting on 11 August to discuss the creation of port facilities to export Belarusian products.

“In line with a preliminary agreement, today we will discuss transshipment of Belarusian export commodities, first of all, large volumes of potash fertilizers. At the moment, the port infrastructure and accessibility are the weak links in the supply chain,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, Belarus now has a good opportunity to create its own port infrastructure. “We have been dreaming about it for a long time. The Russian Federation has opened doors for us at all levels. At least, there are no obstacles to it on the part of the president of Russia, with whom I have been negotiating these issues. He shows exceptional support for this. I would like to hear today how things are on this front at your level,” the head of state said.

The president had instructed the government to weight up all possible options. The head of state asked about the viability of each option, the cost and time of construction, payback and possible risks. “Today we must decide which option is the most convenient for us and makes the most sense in terms of logistics. A port must be built quickly and at minimal cost,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“We do not have time to wait for certain infrastructure to be built in any of the ports. Today we are talking primarily about the north-western region of the Russian Federation. The Russian president showed me all the ports of St. Petersburg and around it and offered to choose any direction. I told him that we needed to ship our goods immediately. He suggested choosing any point and starting to ship. This means that while we are building our port facilities there, we need to make the maximum use of the Russian ports to ship our goods,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

According to the head of state, Belarusian companies have already started working in this area. “We need to speed it up, however. Let's discuss our future steps, how we are going to work. The government must ensure full support of the project. I received the same support from the Russian president. Tell us what we need to do to accelerate construction works and start shipping our goods today,” the president added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded to take measures in response to Lithuania’s seizure of our stake in the Klaipeda port.

In addition to the sanctions regarding the transportation of potash fertilizers, Lithuania also actually seized the property of a Belarusian company in Klaipeda. Since 2013 Belaruskali has owned 30% of the shares of the Klaipeda bulk cargo terminal BKT.

"Not only have they imposed illegitimate sanctions. They’ve also seized our property," Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the meeting participants.

"They stole from us," Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said.

"This should not go unpunished," the president stressed. “Think of the measures we can take in the near future and in the medium term. No one is allowed to seize our property. It is not enough that they went after our sanatorium that treated Chernobyl cleanup workers [Belarus sanatorium in Latvia’s Jurmala was forced to close down due to the sanctions], but they started seizing our property. That's a lot of money. Therefore, we should be taking measures today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow."