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10.10.2016 The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic's government has condemned the resumption of phosphate rock shipments from Western Sahara to Lithuania. CEO of Lifosa, the Lithuanian fertilizer company, has assured that its imports came from Morocco and did not know the origin of the raw materials

"The government of the Saharawi Arab DemocraticRepublic condemned the resumption of phosphate rock shipments from occupiedWestern Sahara to Lithuania. A cargo of 75,000 tons is due to be received bythe Lithuanian fertilizer company AB Lifosain Klaipeda later thisweek,"  the country's state-run newsagency Sahara Press Service said.

According to the report, Lifosa was the last company in 2015to terminate trade with Western Sahara, while Lithuania remains thesecond-largest buyer of phosphates from the African country.

Jonas Dastikas, CEO of Lifosa that is owned by the Russianchemical industry concern EuroChem Group, maintained the company did not knowthat the raw materials came from Western Sahara. In his words, supplies of rawmaterials are organized in a centralized manner for all companies of the group,therefore, the Kedainiai company is not buying any itself.

"We buy from Morocco, the world's biggest exporter. Wehave no idea where they load it, maybe they load it from Sahara, we are notreally sure. They are the biggest exporters of phosphates, and we do not reallyknow where it is loaded. Especially since our head in Switzerland (EuroChemGroup) buys them for us in a centralized manner," Dastikas told.

In his words, the company has brought in a single shipmentof phosphate rock over the past two years. In three years, after Lifosa is ableto produce a sufficient amount of phosphates, it will no longer buy raw materialsfrom abroad, said the CEO.

The United Nations in 2011 excluded Lifosa from the list ofsocially responsible businesses over imports from Western Sahara.

Russia's EuroChem Group purchased Lifosa in 2002.

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