VILNIUS – The European Commission's concessions to sanctions on the transit of some goods between mainland Russia and its Kaliningrad exclave through Lithuania would create additional legal problems, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Tuesday.
According to the minister, the Commission is still working on a document on how these EU sanctions should be implemented and the current "thoughts" should not be turned into legally binding documents.
"The biggest problem would be if these thoughts were turned into a legal document, a legal clarification from the European Commission," he told LRT Radio. In our opinion, they would then create additional legal problems."
"I am worried that this can be potentially seen as a sign of weakness. Russia cannot demand a review of the sanctions and concessions for itself," Lithuania's top diplomat said.
"This has to be avoided. (...) I have personally heard confirmation that the Commission thinks so as well. Russia cannot have such a diplomatic victory on sanctions," he added.
According to Landsbergis, making any concessions to an aggressor only further encourages its aggressive behavior.
"This is holds true in geopolitics, in diplomacy and in law," he said.
After EU sanctions against Russia took effect on June 17, Lithuania restricted the transit of steel and ferrous metals to Kaliningrad, a move it said was based on clarification from the Commission.
Russia has threatened to retaliate for the transit restrictions which it says violate international agreements.