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Belarusian Railways to discuss ban on loading CIS, Baltic wagons with Russia

Belarusian Railways will discuss the prohibition to load the wagons, which are owned by the CIS and Baltic states, with OAO Russian Railways, BelTA learned from Ivan Voitekhovich, Head of the Transportation Service of Belarusian Railways. Russian Railways introduced the prohibition in late December 2013.

Ivan Voitekhovich said: “We are going to meet with the Russian side. We have sent a written request for an explanation but the date for the talks has not been chosen yet”. The executive believes the prohibition may be a temporary measure. He reminded that a similar decision was made in Kazakhstan in 2012.

Ivan Voitekhovich remarked that what is going on is not profitable for Russian Railways and Belarusian Railways, which wagons are loaded all over Russia. “Russian Railways gets tariffs from a loaded wagon. If the wagon is empty, then the Russian company pays Belarusian Railways for using the wagon. Where is the economic sense in that? A wagon should work and transport cargoes,” noted the Head of the Transportation Service of Belarusian Railways.

For now Belarusian Railways has no intention to contact the Eurasian Economic Commission, which is a permanent regulatory agency of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space. “We have to have the talks with the Russian side first, otherwise, it will be against the spirit of partnership,” the executive is convinced.

Mass media reported earlier that OAO Russian Railways introduced the prohibition on loading wagons owned by the CIS and Baltic states for the sake of minimizing the payments for using them. Some Russian experts believe that the measure will not produce a noticeable effect for Russian Railways because the return loading of CIS and Baltic wagons is virtually zero and the figure gets lower every year.

The Kazakhstani railway operator introduced a similar prohibition in 2012. The enterprise virtually prohibited using any wagons but those owned by the daughter enterprise Kaztemirtrans. After that discontent Russian shipping companies contacted the Eurasian Economic Commission to complain. As a result, the Kazakhstani railway operator scrapped the initiative.

OAO Russian Railways is an important partner of Belarusian Railways in the international transportation of passengers and cargoes as well as in manufacturing and scientific interaction. Cargoes transported together with Russia exceed 60% of the international traffic handled by Belarusian Railways and 90% of the transit traffic. In October 2013 a representative office of OAO Russian Railways was opened in Minsk.

Source*http://news.belta.by

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