Lithuania Urges Tighter Belarus Sanctions to Cap Potash Profits
(Bloomberg) -- Lithuania is lobbying for tighter European Union sanctions on Belarus’s potash industry as record-high fertilizer prices further benefit the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.
In June, the EU imposed restrictions on selected products of state-run Belaruskali OAO, which raised prices for other products that continue to trade, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said.
“The regime, or companies supporting it, are making higher profits after the introduction of sanctions,” Landsbergis told LRT broadcaster on Thursday. “This is an unexpected and an unwanted effect but also an unfair effect of sanctions. And this can be fixed. We’ve made certain proposals on how this can be fixed.”
EU sanctions potash from Belarus with potassium content of less than 40% or more than 62%. While those grades made up only about a fifth of Belarusian potash sales to the bloc in 2020, Belaruskali’s main product was potash with 60% potassium content. That wasn’t covered in the restrictions.
By contrast, the U.S. has sanctioned Belaruskali as an entity as part of measures to pressure Lukashenko’s regime over the country’s presidential election, which has been widely condemned as fraudulent.
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