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Lithuanian Billionaire Blocked From Investments Due to Ties With a Belarusian Company

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Lithuanian Billionaire Blocked From Investments Due to Ties With a Belarusian Company
Gediminas Ziemelis
Photo: DELFI / ANDRIUS UFARTAS

Collaboration with the regime becomes toxic.

The Lithuanian government has blocked investments planned by the Avia Solutions Group controlled by Gediminas Ziemelis in Vilnius airport. The reason is his ties with Russia and Belarus, Delfi reports.

At the beginning of March, the head of the State Security Department (SSS) of Lithuania, Darius Jauniskis, said that intelligence has serious doubts about the reliability of Avia Solutions Group: “We have repeatedly informed those who make decisions about the activities of this enterprise, and we have certain information that causes serious doubts about the reliability and performance of the company. I will not name it specifically since this is secret information, but everyone who makes decisions received this information,” he said presenting an annual assessment of threats to national security in the Seimas.

According to the 15min.lt portal, the Lithuanian government could not like not only the group's ties with Russian structures but also the probable ties with a pharmaceutical company in Belarus.

In 2015, Ziemelis's company ZIA Valda established Nativita with partners in Belarus and built a pharmaceutical plant in Beshankovichy for 8.4 million euros. One of its partners was the Russian biotechnology company Biocad, associated with Roman Abramovich.

When the enterprise was launched in 2016, it was reported that Žia Valda AS owns 57% of Nativita's shares. In addition to the firm of Gediminas Ziemelis, Natco Pharma Limited (India), Vitvar (Belarus), Vita Farma (Slovakia) contributed and received a share.

At the end of March, the Lithuanian government did not allow Avia Solutions Group to expand at Vilnius airport. According to the company, its investment in the renovation of the hangar would amount to 7 million euros, it would create 200 new jobs.