SILKRAILS.WORDPRESS.COM (GCTL8.com – FOCUSASIA MEDIA Ltd)
MOSCOW, May 31 (FAM) – Russia’s state-owned rail monopoly RZD is refusing most requests to take cargo from Russia to ports in Latvia, apparently in retaliation for Latvia blocking a Russian-led pipeline project, according to Reuters.
Citing several unnamed industry executives RZD had in many cases offered no explanation to customers for turning down their cargo, which had previously been transported relatively easily by rail to Latvia. RZD said it had not introduced any restrictions on transporting freight to Latvia, claiming instead to examine each request on its own merits.
But several of the sources said they suspected Russia was blocking the cargo in retaliation for Latvia snubbing a Russian-led pipeline project. Latvia is among several eastern European states opposing Nord Stream 2, a Russian-led initiative to build a new gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, Reuters said. The project’s backers had reportedly wanted to use Latvia’s port infrastructure to help develop the pipeline.