Monday, June 20, 2022

Lithuania stops transit off goods to Kaliningrad

 From Saturday, June 18, transit through the territory of Lithuania to Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast of goods that are subject to sanctions is forbidden.

The ban applies primarily to rail transport, and these include goods such as coal, metals, and building materials. According to estimates provided by the Russian governor of the Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov, that's almost half of the goods imported by the exclave.

Alikhanov, wanting to calm the mood in the oblast, said that two ships handled transporting goods between Kaliningrad and Russian St. Petersburg.

Russia considers the decision a violation of commercial rights. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described Lithuania's actions as "unprecedented." "This is a violation of everything," Peskov said in an interview with journalists.

According to media reports, shortages of many products and soaring prices have been affecting the Kaliningrad Oblast, which is an exclave of Russia located between Poland and Lithuania.

The Kaliningrad Oblast is highly dependent on rail supplies from Russia, and the main route runs through Lithuania. An alternative sea route is much more costly and time-consuming. According to Alikhanov's announcement, seven ships will handle sea freight between Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg by the end of the year.