EPL: Ministry sanctions plan may cost Estonian firms up to a billion euros

A Skintest locomotive.
A Skintest locomotive. Source: DLRR

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has proposed sanctions on the Russian Federation's state rail company, Russian Railways (RZhD), which could harm Estonian and Baltic States' freight rail operators in the process, depriving them of up to a billion euros in rolling stock, cargo and other assets once they were effectively trapped over the border in Russia, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reports.

EPL wrote Tuesday (link in Estonian) that: "Estonian transit companies and the rail sector received confirmation a week ago that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a proposal to Brussels for discussion, which would impose sanctions on Russian Railways (RZhD), after which all economic cooperation with this company would end."

"Impact assessments are still being requested from the rail companies. Finland and Estonia would mainly suffer [as a result of the policy]. However, Russia could obtain for itself close to a billion euros of the assets of Estonian companies, if their wagons get stuck behind the border," the piece added.

The ministry declined to confirm to EPL whether sanctions against X are in fact under preparation, and has not provided substantive answer to the Estonian companies' fears, EPL reported.

The ministry has also not commented on whether the proposal has contingencies whereby the desired sanction would still weaken Russia, but not harm Estonia's own companies, the paper stated.

The plan has met with sharp criticism from representatives of the sector, EPL continued, with Andres Valgerist, board chair of the logistics and transit association (Logistika- ja transiidiassotsiatsioon) stating that: "Essentially, the assets of Estonian entrepreneurs, worth nearly a billion euros, will be handed over to Russia and help to increase Russia's influence and income in Central Asia."

The proposal "seems like subversion against our country, while aiding Russia," he went on.

Skinest Rail owner Oleg Ossinovski told EPL that: "I hope that the Estonian authorities will check whether the author of this proposal is a run-of-the-mill 'useful idiot for the Kremlin', of whom there are many in Europe, or whether this represents is something more serious."

Skinest is the largest private railway company in the Baltic States, with over 8,000 wagons in its fleet.

In a separate editorial, EPL itself essentially supported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' sanctions plan, stating that war means not doing business with an enemy.

The sanctions would form part of broader proposals to the EU to impose further rounds of sanctions on Russia in the wake of its ongoing war in Ukraine.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: EPL

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: