Ukrainian Railways limited the transit of Belarusian potash, but not to the largest market

7 mins

Ukraine suspends the transit of Belarusian potash fertilizers to Europe and the CIS from February 16. The restrictions apply to the products of Belaruskali and Belarusian Potash Company. The «import transportation» and «transit through the territory» of Ukraine are restricted.

Judging by this wording, a company from Belarus (not Belaruskali or BPC) can send potash fertilizers to Ukraine – and Ukrainian Railway will carry such imports. Even if the recipient of the cargo is a subsidiary of the Belarusian Potash Company – Agrorozkvit, which came under the U.S. sanctions last year.

And then the recipient will be able to trade Belarusian fertilizers both in Ukraine and abroad.

Even before today’s restrictions, Euroradio asked the press service of the Ukrainian Railways whether other companies could be shippers of Belarusian potash. They did not answer the question:

«Ukrainian Railways has no information about other companies that are shippers of mineral fertilizers, which are transported through the territory of Ukraine.»

What about the shipment of potash to Ukrainian ports?

In addition, restrictions bypass the transportation of Belarusian potash to the port of Nikolaev, which the Belarusian side seeks to use instead of Klaipeda. This is how fertilizers from Belaruskali can get to India. Deliveries to this country are the main logistical problem that the Belarusian authorities are solving today.

However, the Belarusian side has problems with the port of Nikolaev. The port itself told Euroradio that it used to work with Belaruskali, but no longer does:

«There have been a number of changes.»

They declined to comment further. This answer could mean both the cessation of transit and the fact that now the port does not work directly with Belaruskali, but, again, through shell firms.

The representative of the Ukrainian Railways did not hide the fact that there were no changes in terms of potash transportation before the decision to limit transit was made. And they continued to transport fertilizers from Belaruskali.

«They traditionally go to the ports, to the Black Sea.»

According to Ukrainian Railways, the average monthly volume of transit of mineral fertilizers amounted to 28 thousand tons in 2021, and import to Ukraine – 16.5 thousand tons. In January 2022, the transit of fertilizers, the consignor of which is Belaruskali, amounted to 18.8 thousand tons and 2.6 thousand tons – import.

On February 1, Lithuanian Railways refused to carry Belarusian potash fertilizers to the port of Klaipeda. The Belarusian government was going to negotiate for transit through Russia.


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