Russia wants transit restrictions in Kaliningrad to end

posted by vicky684 about 14 days ago
Russia wants transit restrictions in Kaliningrad to end
Russia has asked Lithuania to quickly lift a ban on the rail transit of some goods to and from its exclave of Kaliningrad. However, Vilnius says the ban is in line with EU sanctions and must stay in place.

"The route from Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region has not been stopped or blocked. Lithuania has not put any restrictions on this transit on its own, spokespeople for President Gitanas Nauseda told local media on June 21. They also said that the Kaliningrad area is subject to the same EU sanctions as the rest of the Russian Federation.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on June 21 that Lithuania's decision to stop the transit of sanctioned goods between Kaliningrad and Russia is "unprecedented" and "violates everything there is." Lithuania and Belarus separate Kaliningrad from the rest of Russia.

The Kremlin's spokesman told the Russian radio station Kommersant FM that these kinds of actions are against the law and can be seen as "part of the blockade."

Russia's foreign ministry said that Lithuania's "openly hostile" restrictions on transit between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia were a violation of a 2002 agreement between Russia and the EU that supported transit between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia. It also asked Lithuania to lift the restrictions right away. On its website, the Russian ministry said that it had asked Lithuania's charge d'affaires in Moscow, Virginija Umbrasiene, to come in.

At the same time, on June 20, the Lithuanian foreign ministry gave Sergey Ryabokon, Moscow's charge d'affaires ad interim in Vilnius, a diplomatic note explaining how EU measures affect transit between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia.

"At the meeting, it was denied that Lithuania had stopped Kaliningrad transit, as Russian officials had said...

"Lithuania will continue to move people and goods to and from Kaliningrad that are not affected by EU sanctions," the ministry said in a statement.

Also on June 20, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that the ban on the transit of steel and ferrous metal products between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia was put in place to follow the EU's sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Anton Alikhanov, the governor of Kaliningrad Region, said on June 17 that Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai's (Lithuanian Railways) freight transportation subsidiary, LTG Cargo, had told the Russian exclave's railway operators that many goods could no longer be shipped by rail because of Western sanctions. According to the governor, the ban will affect between 40 and 50 percent of the construction materials, cement, and metal products that are sent to and from other parts of Russia through Lithuania.

The Lithuanian foreign ministry says that the EU's restrictions on Russian steel and other ferrous metal products coming into or going through the bloc's territory went into effect on June 17. These restrictions are part of the EU's 4th sanctions package, which was passed on March 15, 2022.

On June 21, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stressed that the ban on the transit of steel and ferrous metal products through Lithuania to the Russian region of Kaliningrad is not a Lithuanian decision, but is part of the EU sanctions against Russia.

"First of all, Lithuania has nothing to do with this. These are European sanctions that went into effect on June 17. Railways are now applying the sanctions and telling their customers that as of June 17, sanctioned goods—steel and other goods made from iron ore—will no longer be taken via Lithuania. This is being done in consultation with and according to the guidelines of the European Commission," Landsbergis said on June 20 ahead of the upcoming meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

Adopted on March 15, the EU sanctions package includes restrictions on Russian steel and other ferrous metal products with contracts signed before June 17. As of last Saturday, they could no longer be transported across EU territory, a spokeswoman for the department said.

On June 21, Lithuania's Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said that Russia's claims that it would blockade a port in Lithuania came "out of thin air."

"All hints that Russia might take 'other measures' and block the Lithuanian port in a way that does not involve direct contact are made up," Anusauskas says in his Facebook post. "Other than sending its own transit to its own ports, Russia has not taken any steps and does not have any," he said.

Due to EU sanctions, the minister said that steel and ferrous metal products can no longer be shipped through Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Poland, and other EU countries. However, people and goods that are not affected by the sanctions can still travel through these countries.

During the fight, Vilnius's ambassador to the EU, Arnoldas Pranckevicius, said on June 21 that Lithuania needs to "rebut Russia's disinformation about a blockade" of its Kaliningrad exclave and not give in to attempts to make people panic.

"It is not important to explain ourselves to Russia. What is important is to counter Russia's false story that Lithuania is blocking Kaliningrad," he told the public broadcaster LRT.

The ambassador pointed out that Josep Borrell, the head of foreign policy for the EU, had said on June 20 that land transit between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia had not been stopped and that both people and non-sanctioned goods could still go between the two places.

"Lithuania has not put any restrictions on its own; it only follows the sanctions of the European Union," Borrell said.
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vicky684


I am Victor UC popularly known as "Mr Victor Vlogs", I am a blogger, Content creator, web developer, etc.

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