RIGA, January 15. /TASS/. Latvia is preparing for a possible termination of transit of energy carriers from Russia, Latvian Transport Minister Talis Linkaits told a TASS correspondent on Wednesday.
"Both the ports and the railway are preparing for the worst case scenario, in which the flow of energy cargos from Russia goes to zero," the minister said.
"There is such an opportunity, we must be prepared for this," he added.
According to the minister, the share of energy carriers in Russian transit has been steadily declining in recent years.
"Accordingly, we understand that we need to work to increase the efficiency of ports so that our services are economically interesting for our partners in Russia," Linkaits said.
"We see that ports around St. Petersburg build up capacities, and they reduce stevedore tariffs in the terminals. Accordingly, we must be more competitive, keep the bar in quality and quantity all the time, be more flexible than maybe the terminals of Russia, which operate on large volumes. "
According to Linkaits, Latvia "will not be able to" fully replace the volume of Russian energy transit.
"We are counting on a large added value of cargo, we are working to ensure that in the ports there is not only a technical transfer of cargo from train to ship, but there is also some kind of industrial action, so that we can keep the added value at home," he said.
In November, the operator of Russian part Ust Luga reported that 12 operating terminals of the port currently transship over 100 million tonnes of cargo per year. By 2023, the construction of the first stage of the new terminal will be completed, and Russian export cargo will be redirected to that terminal. Currently, the cargo goes through the ports of the Baltic states due to the lack of own port facilities in the north-west of Russia.