13 Aug 2009 11:53

EU should join talks on Lithuanian trucks - Lithuanian PM

VILNIUS. Aug 13 (Interfax) - The EU should join the negotiations with Russia if the customs bodies of Lithuania and Russia cannot solve the problem of Lithuanian freight and haulage carriers, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said.

Kubilius made this statement before the Thursday negotiations between Lithuanian and Russian customs officials on the toughening by Russia of the inspection procedures for Lithuanian carriers, as a result of which Lithuanian trucks have been stuck on the Latvian-Russian border for over a week.

Kubilius, who is now on vacation, said he is hoping that "the inappropriate actions taken by Russian officials, which discriminate against Lithuanian carriers, will stop in the nearest future."

"I hope that the problems will be resolved today, and if it turns out that the reasons why the problems cannot be resolved are much deeper, in that case I believe we will have to reconsider the entire strategy for resolving this problem and have intensive talks with our partners in the EU. I believe that it would be much more expedient for the EU to talk with Russia, not for Lithuania to talk with Russia," Kubilius said on Ziniu Radijas on Thursday.

The toughening of the customs regulations has resulted in several hundreds of Lithuanian trucks being stuck on the Latvian-Russian border for over a week. The length of the truck line exceeded 20 km on Wednesday.

The actions taken by the Russian customs have also resulted in lines on the Belarusian and Kazakh borders, the Lithuanian national road carriers association Linava reported.