The Latvian Minister of Transportation held a meeting with Litasco and Ventbunkers (VBU) late last week in order to resolve the conflict between the two companies about a Litasco tanker.
VBU says Litasco refused to lift 120,000 tonnes of fuel oil from the VBU terminal in Latvia, causing VBU to lose ‘millions in losses and damages’.
According to VBU, Litasco’s tank was blocking VBU’s operations since 25 December 2010. At the meeting, Uldis Augulis, the Latvian Minister of Transportation, ordered Litasco to remove the fuel immediately and they did so on the 13 February.
Litasco argued in the meeting that VBU prevented them from moving the fuel earlier, although Rudolf Meroni, chairman of VBU supervisory board, refuted this claim.
‘It is simply not true that we ever stopped them. What have they achieved by blocking the Latvian railway system and our terminal? Nothing other than causing millions in losses and damages that they will have to pay,’ Meroni says.
VBU says that even though the fuel tanker has been removed, this will not ‘fully resolve’ the problems VBU has with Litasco.
‘Litasco continues to hide where they allegedly paid approximately €22 million for services rendered by VBU. What is even worse, now Litasco alleges that there are some additional hidden agreements they signed with the false Berkis and Kass VBU management,’ says Aivars Gobins, VBU’s media director.
Gobins also alleges Litasco falsified documents and ‘violated any minimum standards of business ethics’.
When contacted, Litasco declined to comment.