Both the EU and the Baltic state insist that restricting transit to Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad does not amount to a blockade Kaliningrad, Russia. © AFP / Patrick Hertzog
The EU Commission reiterated its support for Lithuania’s decision to heavily restrict the transit of goods to Kaliningrad Region, Russia. At a regular press conference on Tuesday, European Commission chief spokesman Eric Mamer said the country has merely implemented the EU sanctions on Russia rather than imposing an economic blockade.
“We’re not talking about the Commission giving a recommendation to a country. This is a member state implementing decisions that they have taken when it comes to the sanctions against Russia. And Lithuania is basically doing what it is supposed to do under the sanctions regime,” Mamer stated, noting that the bloc’s stance was “extensively” explained by top EU diplomat Josep Borrell a day before.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Borrell insisted that Vilnius’ move does not constitute a blockade against the small exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, but was merely the implementation of the EU’s sanctions on Moscow, imposed over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. On Saturday, Lithuania’s national railway operator banned the flow of sanctioned goods between the region and the rest of Russia, citing instructions from the European Commission.
“Lithuania has not taken any unilateral national restrictions. But, in accordance with European Union sanctions, there are import and export restrictions that apply in relation with certain goods, including the prohibition of transit from those goods through European Union territory. Lithuania is doing nothing else than implementing the guidelines provided by the Commission,” Borrell stated. (RT)
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