© Leonid Andronov

LTG Cargo, the cargo arm of Lithuania’s national railway (Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai), has restarted grain export activities out of Ukraine through its local subsidiary.

The move will allow exports of Ukrainian products through Poland, circumventing Russian-allied Belarus.

Over the weekend, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, Dmytro Senik, told Reuters there were some 30 million tonnes of grain stored in silos in Ukraine since the blockade of its Black Sea ports by Russia.

LTG Cargo Ukraine CEO Saulius Stasiūnas said: “This reopening allows us to contribute to even more efficient logistics solutions and continue to help Ukrainian customers transport goods, in particular grain, oil and corn, outside the country.

“In doing this, we will continue co-operation with Ukrzaliznytsia [Ukrainian Railways] to join efforts in making the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing and freight transhipping at the Ukrainian border stations as smooth as possible.”

Ukraine intends to export via road, river and rail through Poland and Romania, Mr Senik said. However, differences in rail gauge between the Polish 1,435mm rail gauge and Ukraine’s 1,520mm mean shipments must be transferred between trains at the border.

“Those routes are not perfect, because this creates certain bottlenecks, but we are doing our best to develop those routes in the meantime,” said Mr Senik.

LTG Cargo has been in hot water domestically recently; in February it was compelled by the Lithuanian government to terminate a contract with Belarus fertiliser manufacturer Belaruskali and, last week, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania ruled that the relationship represented “a threat to national security”.

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