Lithuania enforces EU sanctions on goods to Russia’s Kaliningrad | News

Transit ban on sanctioned items might enhance already excessive ranges of pressure between Russia and NATO following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lithuanian authorities have banned the transit by means of their territory of products to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad which can be topic to European Union sanctions, in keeping with the nationwide rail service.

The enclave – dwelling to the Russian Baltic Fleet and a deployment location for Moscow’s nuclear-capable Iskander missiles – is sandwiched on the Baltic coast between Lithuania and Poland, each NATO members, and has no land border with Russia.

The transit ban might enhance already excessive ranges of pressure between Russia and NATO following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

The transit ban took impact on Saturday, in keeping with the cargo arm of Lithuania’s state rail service in a letter to shoppers. Following “clarification” from the European Fee on the mechanism for making use of the sanctions, the transit ban was carried out, in keeping with the letter.

A spokesman for the Lithuanian rail service confirmed the contents of the letter however declined to remark additional, in keeping with Reuters information company.

Russia, Kaliningrad map
Map of Kaliningrad, Poland, Lithuania, Russia (Al Jazeera)

Information of the upcoming ban got here on Friday in a video message posted by Kaliningrad’s governor Anton Alikhanov.

Alikhanov stated the ban would cowl between 40 and 50 p.c of the gadgets that Kaliningrad imports from and exports to Russia by means of Lithuania because the EU sanctions listing notably consists of coal, metals, building supplies and superior know-how.

“We take into account this to be a most severe violation … of the suitable to free transit into and out of Kaliningrad area,” he stated in a web based video posting, including that authorities would press to have the measures lifted.

He stated that if the area weren’t in a position to have the measures lifted shortly, it will begin discussing the necessity for extra ships to hold items to Russia.

Urging residents to not resort to panic shopping for, Alikhanov stated two vessels have been already ferrying items between Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg, and 7 extra could be in service by the top of the yr.

“Our ferries will deal with all of the cargo”, he stated on Saturday.

In February, Lithuania closed its airspace to flights from Russia to Kaliningrad, forcing industrial carriers to take an extended route out over the Baltic Sea.

Lithuania’s international ministry didn’t reply to a request from Reuters for touch upon the brand new measure, although Lithuanian deputy international minister Mantas Adomenas advised a public broadcaster that the ministry was ready for “clarification from the European Fee on making use of European sanctions to Kaliningrad cargo transit”.

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