Lithuania needs to find a way to avoid the negative consequences of the anti-Russian sanctions policy, while not easing the pressure on Moscow. This was announced on Saturday, June 25, by the President of the Republic, Gitanas Nauseda.
“Lithuania must maintain and will continue to maintain control over the goods transported through its territory, and there can be no question of any “corridors,” the head of state wrote on his Facebook page (owned by Meta, recognized as extremist in Russia).
He stressed that cargo transit through the territory of Lithuania since 2004 has been regulated by an agreement between Russia and the European Union (EU), some provisions of which have lost their relevance due to the adoption of several packages of sanctions.
On June 24, MEP Petras Auštrevičius said that the Russian Federation has every chance to get its way on the issue of transit to the Kaliningrad region.
The EU closed access to Russian land transport in April of this year, while the restrictions did not affect the transportation of goods to Kaliningrad. However, already on June 18, as part of the fifth package of anti-Russian sanctions, an embargo was introduced on the supply of goods through Lithuania. The ban does not apply to the transportation of medicines, food and the movement of vehicles following with humanitarian purposes.
On June 20, the head of Eurodiplomacy, Josep Borrell, explained that Vilnius was implementing EU policy without trying to block Kaliningrad. He pointed out that the transportation of passengers and goods between Kaliningrad and other regions of Russia allegedly continues. The restrictions affected only those goods whose export, import and transit through the territory of the European Union is prohibited by sanctions.
In turn, the governor of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, called Lithuania’s ban on transit illegal. He cited several paragraphs from the joint statement on EU enlargement, in which there are references to international agreements, documents to which both the European community and Russia have joined. He noted that as a response to the restriction of transit by Lithuania, the question of denunciation of agreements between Russia and the European Union may arise.
Western countries have stepped up sanctions pressure on Moscow in response to a special operation to protect the Donbass, the beginning of which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24. The decision was made in connection with the aggravation of the situation in the region due to shelling by the Ukrainian military. At the same time, inflation and prices are rising in Europe and the United States against the background of anti-Russian sanctions.
For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel