“Suffocation of the Zone”. Lithuania refuses to allow up to half of the cargo from Russia to Kaliningrad

Lithuanian Railways informed the Kaliningrad region authorities that as of June 18, the transit of a large list of goods arriving in the region from Lithuanian territory has been stopped. Cargo company LTG Cargo stated that the European Commission’s statement on the effect of the bans stipulated by the EU regulation dated 31 July 2014 was instructive. Previously, the Kaliningrad transit was on the list of exceptions in one of the sanctions packages.

“Allegedly, the EC has explained to them that these exclusions do not apply to goods whose importation into the EU is prohibited,” said Anton Alikhanov, governor of the Kaliningrad region. telegraph channel. He noted that he had not yet seen the EC’s statements regarding the sanctions mentioned by the Lithuanian authorities.

According to preliminary estimates, up to 50% of the cargo is covered by the EU’s rail transport ban.

“40 to 50% of the range of goods transported between the Kaliningrad region and other regions of the Russian Federation, these are goods, including building materials (cement, metals), a number of other important both for construction and production, finished exported from our region products,” he said.

According to the governor, Lithuania has grossly violated EU accession rules by banning the transit of goods to Kaliningrad. He also noted that under the ban, it would be necessary to urgently place new ships on the Ust-Luga-Baltiysk ferry line.

Regional officials are currently working with federal agencies (Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Railways, Rosmorport) to resolve the current situation and obtain clarification from the European Commission.

The result of the transit ban is likely to be an increase in logistics cost. Alikhanov noted that in this case, the region will be forced to apply for transport subsidies to the federal center, if necessary.

“This is an important and serious humanitarian problem. This is an attempt to suffocate our region economically,” he said.

He promised that the authorities will do everything possible to prevent the situation in the region from worsening.

Until now, rail freight and passenger crossings were carried out in normal mode. Planes fly around the Baltic states in neutral airspace over the Baltic Sea.

Sanctions should not affect transport

On April 8, the European Union adopted the fifth block of sanctions against Russia, specifically banning the transport of goods by Russian and Belarusian transport, with the exception of food and medical goods and humanitarian aid. . As part of the fifth package of sanctions, the EU banned the import of wood, cement, coal and other goods from Russia.

Then Alikhanov noted that this measure of the European Union will not affect the transit of goods from the main territory of Russia to the Kaliningrad region.

The regional president said, “2. point (b) of paragraph excludes from the scope of restriction the passage between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the Russian Federation.

Since we are talking about shipping from the Russian Federation, we are talking about statements published by the Official Journal of the EU, according to which the restrictions do not imply a ban on the passage of goods from other subjects of the Russian Federation to the Kaliningrad region. to Russia.

“According to their logic, the transition from Russia to the Kaliningrad region is an international transition. <...> Accordingly (restrictions) do not apply to either rail or road transport. When the cargo goes to Kaliningrad from the territory of Russia, it is considered an international transit,” said Dmitry Lyskov, head of the press service of the regional government.

The Kaliningrad region does not have a common land border with the main territory of Russia. The land traffic flow to the Exclave passes through the territory of Lithuania.

Two years to comply with sanctions

Alikhanov previously said that it will take 1-2 years for the economy of the Kaliningrad region to adapt to life under sanctions from Western countries.

“There is optimism that we will pass this period without any problems and restrictions. [нет]of course they will. However, we see this situation as a window of opportunity.”

He noted that the region has routes for air travel over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, as well as alternative means of delivering necessary products and goods by ferries. In an interview with TASS, Alikhanov expressed his hope that Lithuania will comply with its obligations to maintain the transition to the region through the territory of the country, as it is an obligation of the Baltic state when joining the European Union.

Governor Anton Alikhanov said that Lithuanian authorities have reported that rail transport from other parts of Russia to the Kaliningrad region has been reduced. According to him, up to 50% of the range of goods will fall under the transit ban. Alikhanov described the decision of the Lithuanian authorities as “strangling the region” and promised to demand the revision. The transit ban included construction cargoes, cement, metals and other goods important to manufacturing.

Source: Gazeta


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