The restrictions in the crossings to russian pocket of Kaliningrad in line with the “European sanctions“, Said today the Lithuanian Foreign Minister in Luxembourg.
Earlier in the day, Russian diplomacy denounced “hostile” restrictions on rail transit through Lithuania of goods to the Kaliningrad enclave, with Moscow threatening retaliation if the restrictions were not lifted.
Lithuanian authorities have banned the passage of products subject to EU sanctions through its territory, through which the only railway link between Russia and Kaliningrad in the Baltic passes.
However, “European sanctions have been in place since June 17,” Lithuanian Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters, adding that in this case they were steel products transported by rail.
According to the minister, the Lithuanian transport operator has informed customers that as of June 17, goods subject to sanctions, such as steel and ferrous metals, “will no longer be allowed to pass through Lithuania”.
“This is being done in consultation with the European Commission and in accordance with the European Commission’s guidelines,” Landsbergis said.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister said in a statement that he conveyed to the head of the Russian diplomatic mission in Vilnius that the ban on crossing from Lithuania to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad only applies to goods that have been banned by the European Union.
Lithuania has not imposed “unilateral, individual or additional” restrictions, the statement said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry told the Lithuanian envoy to Moscow that unless the transit of goods between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia through Lithuania was restored, Moscow would respond to protect its interests.
The Lithuanian envoy to Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad is located between Poland and Lithuania – NATO and EU member states – and receives supplies from Russia via a rail link passing through Lithuania, as well as via pipelines passing through that country.
According to Moscow, the sanctions violate a Russia-EU 2002 agreement.