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Russia possibly using railroad monopoly to retaliate against Baltics

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Russia’s state-owned railway monopoly is mainly refusing requests to move cargo from Russia to ports in Latvia, industry executives said. The monopoly, Russian Railways, has in many cases offered no explanation to customers for turning down the cargo, mostly oil products, fertilizer, coal and metals.

Russian Railways said it had not introduced any restrictions on transporting freight to Latvia, and that it evaluates each request to transport freight on its own merits.

Russia has a long history of difficult political relations with Latvia.

Several sources said they suspected Russia was holding back the cargoes, in retaliation for Latvia rejecting 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.