BELARUS: German logistics group Duisburger Hafen AG announced on March 11 that it was ceasing all business activity in Belarus with immediate effect, because of the country’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Duisport will divest its 38·9% stake in Eurasian Rail Gateway which is planning to build and operate an intermodal terminal in the Great Stone China-Belarus Industrial Park near Minsk, as well as its 0·59% minority stake in the logistics park. Its office in Minsk has been ‘definitively’ closed.
The company said Germany and the EU had been engaged in a constructive dialogue with Belarus at the time of its investments, and developments since the last presidential election and support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ‘were not foreseeable’.
‘Our thoughts are with the people in Ukraine and we hope for a quick end of the war’, said Duisport CEO Markus Bangen. ‘We unreservedly close this chapter of our engagement in Belarus. We have already been critically questioning our activities there since the elections in 2020 and upon instigation by the Chairman of the supervisory board have reviewed our course of action. However, as an international consortium, we were not able and are not able to take steps unilaterally. In the current situation, it is all the more important for us to send a message by cutting all business ties with Belarus and conducting specific negotiations with our co-shareholders regarding the exit from the companies.’
The port of Duisburg said it does not conduct business in Russia or Ukraine.