Lat­vian rail­way com­pa­nies want Lithua­nia to com­pen­sate EUR 82.32 mil­lion worth of losses

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Latvia’s rail­way com­pa­nies Latvi­jas dzelzceļš and LDz Cargo in­vite Lithua­nian rail­way com­pany Li­etu­vos geležinke­liai to com­pen­sate losses worth EUR 82.32 mil­lion, which ap­peared be­cause of the dis­man­tling of Mažeikiai-Lat­vian bor­der rail­way route, LDz rep­re­sen­ta­tives say.

Based on the de­ci­sion made by Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in the case as­so­ci­ated with the rail­way line, LDz and LDz Cargo have sub­mit­ted a let­ter of com­plaint to Li­etu­vos geležinke­liai with a re­quest to com­pen­sate losses caused by Lithua­nia’s de­ci­sion to dis­man­tle the rail­way line Mažeikiai-Lat­vian bor­der in 2009.

LDz re­quests a com­pen­sa­tion of losses for the pe­riod from 2009 to 2017, which ac­count for EUR 56.92 mil­lion. Cal­cu­la­tion of com­pen­sa­tion sizes was per­formed by Ernst&Young Baltic.

LDz Cargo asks Li­etu­vos geležinke­liai to com­pen­sate lost prof­its worth EUR 25.4 mil­lion.

Lat­vian rail­way com­pa­nies will wait for a re­sponse from Lithua­nia. If no re­sponse fol­lows, the case will be sub­mit­ted to court. As pre­vi­ously re­ported, Li­etu­vos geležinke­liai, which re­ceived the re­quest on Mon­day, 3 Septem­ber, be­lieves it is un­jus­ti­fied. Lithua­nian Trans­port Min­is­ter Rokas Ma­si­ulis has called this re­quest a part of po­lit­i­cal pre­elec­tion games.

«We view this step made by Latvia as part of po­lit­i­cal games prior to Oc­to­ber’s elec­tions. I can only say that it is sad Riga did not de­cide to wait un­til the end of the case with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. Lithua­nia has al­ready com­menced the restora­tion of Reņģe line. We are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to re­solve this old con­flict,» he said. As noted in Lithua­nian Trans­port Min­istry’s re­leased state­ment, LDz has re­quested in­for­ma­tion as to when it is planned to re­store rail­way traf­fic. LDz has also re­quested a com­pen­sa­tion for lost prof­its. Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Li­etu­vos geležinke­liai Mants Bar­tuška said the com­pany has co­or­di­nated the trans­port restora­tion plan on Mazeikiai-Renge route. Con­struc­tion is planned to be com­pleted by the end of next year.

«Es­ti­mates re­gard­ing al­legedly lost prof­its lack jus­ti­fied ar­gu­ments, be­cause freight vol­umes headed in Latvia’s di­rec­tion re­main the same as they were prior to the dis­man­tling of the rail­way line,» the of­fi­cial men­tioned in the state­ment. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s di­rec­tor gen­eral, even af­ter the dis­man­tling of Reņģe rail­way line rail­way con­nec­tiv­ity with Latvia was still pos­si­ble. How­ever, ex­ist­ing rail­way lines are not used to their full po­ten­tial, and some of them have not been used for 15 years.

The state­ment men­tions that LDz has had the op­por­tu­nity to carry oil prod­ucts from Lithua­nia us­ing other di­rec­tions, but the com­pany has never tried us­ing this op­por­tu­nity.

Edijs Pālens/LETA

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