No collapse in freight volumes, insists Latvian Railways boss

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The head of Latvia's national rail company on June 2 added his voice to that of Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis in insisting that reports that rail freight from Russia has reduced drastically are inaccurate.

Speaking on LTV's 'Morning panorama' news show, Latvian Railways chief executive officer Edvīns Bērziņš said: "Data show that there is no decline in bulk goods. [Russian] freight is at the same level as last year."

Indeed, volumes are actually slightly up in most cases, Bērziņš said, as shown by figures LSM has already reported. Areas in which reductions had been observed from April to May, such as coal being shipped via Ventspils port, were explicable by seasonal variation, he said.

However, the rail boss admitted that in future competition for Russian transit would increase, with the Russian government keen on developing its own infrastructure and ports instead of using neighboring countries.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Kucinskis also said there was no catastrophic decline in the cargo volumes, as had been reported by the Reuters newswire last week, along with speculation that Latvia's opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was being punished by the Kremlin. 



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