MINSK, 25 November (BelTA) – Kaliningrad invites Belarus to resume the use of its ports. Governor of Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast Anton Alikhanov made the statement as he met with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 25 November, BelTA has learned.
Anton Alikhanov said: “We are going to discuss new topics during today's session of the Belarusian-Russian cooperation council. We've already managed to briefly discuss one thing: in our opinion, it would be a good idea to review the matter of usage of our ports.”
After the meeting with the Belarusian head of state the governor told reporters that Aleksandr Lukashenko had positively responded to the idea of creating port facilities in Kaliningrad Oblast. “We strongly hope that it will be one of the topics our leaders will discuss at the top level,” Anton Alikhanov noted. “It seems to me that assigning some specific commodity flow from Belarus to the West via Kaliningrad Oblast ports would be very important and serious for our region.”
In his words, the sides are in negotiations on what kinds of Belarusian cargoes can already be rerouted to European markets. Kaliningrad Oblast does not aspire to take over the shipment of potash fertilizers, which are now shipped via Lithuanian Klaipeda. “The Klaipeda port is more suitable from the point of view of the depth. But we happen to have a project to deepen and expand the Kaliningrad canal. Getting Belarusian engineering and design companies involved in it looks promising as well as the redistribution of serious freight traffic in the future. Belarus could ship construction materials via our port even now,” the governor added. “Besides, we have rather well-developed ties from the point of view of market penetration. This is why there are concrete things we are going to discuss now.”