VILNIUS - Businesses transporting Russian grain and food products through Lithuania are behaving immorally but legally, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says.
"As you know, food products - and this is a key provision of the EU and international sanction policy - are exempted from the existing sanctions as far as the availability of food is concerned. Neither when transported to Russia, nor from Russia," the prime minister said during the Government Hour in the Seimas on Thursday.
"That doesn’t mean that I think that people who have a business, even related food products, and have some kind of commercial relationship with Russia are behaving morally. It seems far from it to me, but they are behaving legally," the prime minister added.
She also vowed to look into the volumes of Russian grain and food products transported via Lithuania.
"I will certainly check how much grain is handled by the port of Klaipeda, what are the import, export and transit data," she said.
Agriculture Minister Kestutis Navickas said earlier that Russian grain was being transported through Latvian ports but it did not enter the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda. Nevertheless, he did not rule out that Russian grain could be imported by falsifying its documents of origin.
Ausrys Macijauskas, the president of the Lithuanian Association of Grain Growers, said that about one million tons of grain have been imported from Russia into Latvia so far, calling on the the Lithuanian government to ensure that it does not enter Lithuania from Latvia.