The Latvian state should probably invest in a port terminal to ensure the flow of cargo from Belarus, for instance, Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) said in an interview with Latvian Television on Monday, commenting on potential cooperation with Belarus in oil shipping.
“It would be very good for the state to have a terminal in its possession, because Belarus, too, is used to work with state guarantees and state-owned structures. Unless some other solution is found, we will have to consider investing to ensure the flow of cargo,” Linkaits said, adding that all the existing port terminals in Latvia belong to private owners and that decisions are therefore based on their owners’ business interests.
The Latvian government will have to consider investing in its own terminal if none of the existing privately-owned terminals is ready to handle the available cargo, Linkaits said.
The minister also noted that the Belarus side has approached several terminals in Riga and Ventspils and that the issue is being dealt with. “It is a matter of time. I, of course, would like the process to take place faster, but this is a privately-owned terminal’s decision,” said Linkaits.
He added that technically, Latvian ports are capable of reloading oil and oil products that are shipped to or from Belarus. “We are working so that we had these cargos,” Linkaits said.
As reported, Latvian ports reloaded 62.379 mln tons of cargo in 2019, which is a reduction of 5.7% from 2018.