Agrokoncernas, a company owned by Ramunas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), imports fertilizers from Minudobreniya, a Russian company whose majority shareholder is under international sanctions, according to the Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) information LETA/BNS reported on Thursday.
According to the public broadcaster, Agrokoncernas imports fertilizers not only from the Russian fertilizer producers Phos Agro and Acron, but also from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s childhood friend who built a bridge linking mainland Russia to Moscow-annexed Crimea.
Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg holds more than 80% of shares in Minudobreniya. The man has been subject to international sanctions since 2014 over his close ties to the Kremlin leader, but the company is not on the “blacklist”.
According to LRT, Agrokoncernas purchases Minudobreniya’s fertilizers through an intermediary in Dubai, AgriculturalMinerals DMCC.
Agrokoncernas admits, however, that the fertilizes that it buys in Dubai are delivered to Lithuania from elsewhere. The company would not say exactly from what country it imports fertilizers.
Karbauskis says Agrokoncernas’ agronomists cannot know all the shareholders. The company insists that it does not violate any laws by importing fertilizers from Rotenberg’s Minudobreniya.
Under the Lithuanian Criminal Code, a violation of international sanctions is punishable by a fine, arrest or up to five years in prison. A legal entity is also held liable for such an offense.