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Belarus to actively use Latvian ports for transshipping cargoes

Economy 19.07.2018 | 15:40
Vladimir Makei and Edgars Rinkevics. Photos courtesy of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vladimir Makei and Edgars Rinkevics. Photos courtesy of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MINSK, 19 July (BelTA) – Belarus intends to actively use Latvian ports for transshipping cargoes. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the relevant statement after negotiations with his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics in Riga on 19 July, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei said: “We intend to continue actively using the Latvian port infrastructure because diversification is absolutely crucial for any country and any economy, including the Belarusian one. We've agreed that the matter will also be discussed during the forthcoming session of the intergovernmental commission.”

Press conference after the negotiations
Press conference after the negotiations

Vladimir Makei explained that Belarusian companies use the Lithuanian sea port Klaipeda primarily for transshipping potash fertilizers because it is a more profitable practice. But roughly 64% of the total volume of dark oil products and over 80% of light oil products are transshipped via Latvian ports.

Vladimir Makei added that using the Latvian direction is also important for Belarus within the framework of China's Belt and Road initiative and the North-South corridor. “We have specific plans and proposals, on which our experts will work in the future,” he said.

During the negotiations the sides agreed an intergovernmental action plan on the main avenues of Belarusian-Latvian cooperation in the medium term. The document had been prepared by government agencies and companies of the two countries to fulfill the agreements reached when Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis visited Belarus in February. “I am convinced that the implementation of this action plan will help further intensify our relations in various spheres of mutual interest,” said the Belarusian diplomat.

Close attention was paid to the advancement of cooperation in defense, law enforcement, and border affairs. The Belarusian and Latvian ministers of foreign affairs also discussed Belarus-EU cooperation. Edgars Rinkevics stressed that Latvia is interested in the active advancement of Belarus' relations with the European Union and in the prompt signing of the long-awaited documents.

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