The refusal of the Lithuanian Siauliu Bank to work with Russia may result in the cessation of goods transit through Kaliningrad on September 1. knowledgeable Anton Alikhanov, governor of the Kaliningrad region. Earlier, the Lithuanian Charge d’affaires of the Russian Federation, Sergey Ryabokon, said that Russian operators using the services of Lithuanian Railways must pay for the transportation of goods. After that, Lithuania closed all transactions to a bank mentioned above.
“The Lithuanians will either let us pass for free, which I doubt, or they won’t let us pass,” said Alikhanov.
On June 18, the Lithuanian side blocked the rail transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region through its territory. At the only working multilateral car checkpoint “Chernyshevskoye”, the queues of several hundred trucks with goods were repeatedly recorded. 17 July still a queue of more than a thousand Russian trucks.
At one point, July 22, it seemedthat the problem is solved. Then the state-owned Lietuvos Gelezhinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) announced the resumption of goods previously included in the EU sanctions list to the Kaliningrad region from 22 July. The company informed the partners that it is allowed to transport the goods necessary for the Kaliningrad region.
Already on July 26, the first train cemented reached to Kaliningrad via Lithuania after the lifting of restrictions on rail transport.
public transport drama
On June 18, Lithuania stopped allowing sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region, which are transported in transit by rail from other parts of Russia. On June 21, it was revealed that the restrictions also affected trucking.
According to Alikhanov, the passage of concrete, wood, alcohol and alcohol-based industrial chemicals has been banned since July 11.
On 21 June, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Lithuania should be aware of the seriousness of the consequences of such an embargo. She added that she saw the actions of the Lithuanian authorities as offensive and hostile.
“I think they need to understand the main thing: when Russia utters a word about the other side, describing its behavior as openly hostile, then there is no time for conversations, no time to come up with formulas that can take the situation. Put it aside and act like it’s okay.”
Lithuania insists that the country only “constantly imposes EU sanctions” and does not impose additional or unilateral restrictions.
But on 30 June, Der Spiegel reported that Brussels and Berlin wanted to force Lithuania to lift the transit ban. Moreover, the German authorities were “outraged” by the actions of the republic.
“Berlin does not share the Lithuanian view that the transit of sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad should not be made through EU territory. “This is shipping from Russia to Russia,” they say. Allowed,” the article says.
According to Der Spiegel sources, Germany fears that “the conflict with Russia will continue to escalate”. They do not want Moscow to “use force to create a land corridor”.
Europe’s silence and consent
On July 7, European Commission representative Johannes Barke said that the agency has not yet sent a statement to Lithuania regarding the Kaliningrad transit. He noted that there is no development regarding the situation yet.
Another EC representative, Daniel Ferry refused Answering whether Lithuania should ban the transit of cement, tobacco and alcohol into Kaliningrad from 10 July.
The restrictive measures of the EU include certain transition periods for each case, but I do not have a legal text before my eyes.
However, already on July 13 AK published The document, which includes explanations on the sanctions against Russia, explains the rules for transit of goods to Kaliningrad via Lithuania. The instructions say that the transit of goods by road arranged by Russian operators is not allowed. They added that the transportation of military or dual-use goods and technologies under the sanctions is completely prohibited, regardless of the mode of transportation.
Alikhanov, in turn, registeredThe recommendations of the European Commission have lifted more than 80% of transit restrictions. However, he added that work still needs to be done, and that sanctioned goods (approximately 500-700 thousand tons per year) are still not allowed to be passed by road. According to Alikhanov, the control of rail transit through Lithuania specified by the European Commission is not a problem, as there are generally accepted methods for controlling cargo.