Home Gas effect Lithuania declares sanctions on goods bound for Kaliningrad to come into effect

Lithuania declares sanctions on goods bound for Kaliningrad to come into effect

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VILNIUS, June 18 (Reuters) – Lithuanian authorities said a ban on the transit through their territory to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad of goods subject to EU sanctions was due to come into force on Saturday.

News of the ban broke on Friday, via a video posted by the region’s governor, Anton Alikhanov. Read more

The EU’s sanctions list includes coal, metals, building materials and advanced technologies, among others, and Alikhanov said the ban would cover around 50% of items imported by Kaliningrad.

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Its immediate start was confirmed by the freight branch of the Lithuanian National Railways in a letter to customers following a “clarification” from the European Commission on the mechanism for applying the sanctions.

Urging citizens not to resort to panic buying, Alikhanov said two ships were already transporting goods between Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, and seven more would be in service by the end of the year.

“Our ferries will handle all the cargo,” he said on Saturday.

A Lithuanian Rail Service spokesperson confirmed the contents of the letter but declined to comment further. The Foreign Office did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas told the public channel that his institution was awaiting “clarifications from the European Commission on the application of European sanctions to the transit of goods in Kaliningrad”.

Sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, members of the EU and NATO, Kaliningrad is supplied by Russia by rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania.

Home to the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic Sea Fleet, the enclave was captured from Nazi Germany by the Red Army in April 1945 and ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II.

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Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; additional reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels; edited by John Stonestreet and Christina Fincher

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