21 Jun 2022 15:29

Lithuania not blockading Kaliningrad - PM Simonyte

VILNIUS. June 21 (Interfax/BNS) - Lithuania does not interpret the European Union's sanctions on Russia in any way and has not imposed a blockade on the Kaliningrad region, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said.

"No blockade of Kaliningrad is taking place. It's just that sanctions have been applied to some goods included in the so-called sanction package since last weekend, particularly steel and ferrous metals, and railway clients or contractual parties have been informed of these sanctions and made aware that they cannot be transshipped and transported," Simonyte told journalists on Tuesday.

"All other goods that are not under sanctions, as well as passenger transit for which there is a special agreement between the European Union, Russia, and Lithuania, are being transported," she said.

Lithuania's good will is evident from the fact that it did not sever the agreement on passenger transportation with Russia when the latter was unable to pay for it due to international sanctions imposed on its banks, Simonyte said.

"There were situations in that period when, say, due to certain restrictions applied to banks, Russia was unable to pay for the transportation of passengers, which would have formally been a reason for severing the contract. And yet transportation continued, we continued to follow the contract, and financial institutions were found through which payments were made and debts settled," Simonyte said.

Moscow said on Monday that the restrictions on the transit of cargo via Lithuania to and from the Kaliningrad region violated international agreements and demanded that Vilnius lift the ban. Lithuania replied that it did not impose unilateral agreements and that the ban was part of the EU sanctions.