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Russia is allowed to transport goods on the EU sanctions list such as steel, coal and oil by rail to the Kaliningrad region on the Baltic Sea. The European Commission says in the current situation The restrictions that apply to road transport do not apply to rail transport.
Kaliningrad is located between Poland and Lithuania and has no land connection with the rest of Russia. Therefore, the region must be supplied from Russia by sea or by train, which passes through Belarus and Lithuania.
Due to sanctions against Russia, Lithuania no longer allows part of the goods by rail. For example, alcohol, wood and concrete were included. Coal and oil will also be added to the list at a later stage.
Russia responded fiercely and spoke of a blockade. European Union denied that there is And that only its own sanctions regime was complied with. And now the European Union is partly back from that. In a statement, the European Commission talks about “determining what rules apply”.
Lithuania fears the EU’s decision will be seen as a bow to Russia and describes the earlier interpretation of the rules as more plausible: “The transport rules to Kaliningrad may give a false impression that the transatlantic community is softening its stance and sanctions policy toward Russia.” Lithuania says it will comply with the new rules.
Under the new decision, Lithuania can continue to impose strict control over transported goods. For example, Russia is not allowed to transport military goods or merchandise that can have both military and civilian applications. Also, only the permitted amount of cargo may be transported by train that fulfills the order from Kaliningrad itself, in order to prevent circumvention of penalties through the bunker.
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