Mon, 04 Jul 2022

Kaliningrad [Russia], June 21 (ANI/Sputnik): Lithuanian Railways has sent an additional request to the European Commission to clarify transit restrictions to Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Region Governor Anton Alikhanov said on Monday.

Lithuanian Railways has notified the Kaliningrad region's railway of halting the transit of a number of goods subject to EU sanctions from June 18.

Alikhanov said earlier that the ferry industry of the Kaliningrad region would cope with new cargo amid restrictions on transit through Lithuania. Transportation of oil products to the Kaliningrad region through Lithuania continues, their transit is not limited until August 10.

"Lithuanian Railways sent an additional request to the European Commission to clarify the restrictions on transit to Kaliningrad," Alikhanov said in a video message on his Telegram channel.

Kaliningrad goods that were not subject to sanctions will be redirected by rail to free the ferries for the sanctioned cargo, he said.

The European Union has every opportunity to amend the sanctions packages to exclude transit to Kaliningrad, Alikhanov said.

"Even if the EU does not amend the sanctions packages, the issue of delivering goods to Kaliningrad has already been worked out," he added.

The Kaliningrad authorities will try to maintain tariffs for the transportation of goods so that the cost of goods for citizens does not increase, the governor said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is already seeking to reverse the decision to restrict transit to Kaliningrad, he said.

Russian Charge d'Affaires in Vilnius Sergey Ryabokon said that he held a meeting at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Monday.

Last Friday, state-owned Lithuanian Railways stopped the transit of goods between Russia and its Baltic Sea territory, the Kaliningrad region, citing EU restrictions. According to the Russian diplomat, Lithuania's ban on transit will ban the Baltic country itself and its citizens.

"We went to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry today, we asked them a lot of questions. We talked about railway conventions, we said that you can't do this in a day, that you need to warn [us in advance]. It was simply read to us from a piece of paper that Lithuania, they say, has nothing to do with it, this is all the European Union, and what we are doing, we are simply doing what the European Union tells us," Ryabokon told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

Moscow has lodged a protest to the Lithuanian charge d'affaires in Russia in connection with the decision of Vilnius to ban rail cargo transit to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.

The ministry summoned the Lithuanian charge d'affaires earlier in the day.

"The head of the diplomatic mission was strongly protested in connection with the ban on the rail transit of a large range of goods through the territory of Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region, imposed by Vilnius without prior notification of the Russian side. We demanded the immediate lifting of these restrictions," the ministry said in a statement.

Russia regards the actions of Lithuania as openly hostile, the ministry said, adding that such measures violate the international obligations of Vilnius. (ANI/Sputnik)

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