VILNIUS - Even ships that have changed their Russian flag would not be able to enter Lithuania's port of Klaipeda, if EU member states back the EC's proposal to ban Russian ships from entering EU ports, Lithuanian Transport Minister Marius Skuodis said on Wednesday.
"I would be glad if that wording (of the European Commission - BNS) that's in place was maintained. In other words, that would prevent everything, even if a Russian ship has changed its flag in recent days and installed a different one," he told reporters ahead of the Cabinet meeting.
If the EU fails to approve such sanctions, a regional decision could be taken, Skuodis said.
"For now, we are focused on EU solutions because they would be the most effective, but if they are not introduced, we would get back to the issue because discussions are taking place both at the level of transport and foreign affairs ministers, and also prime ministers are talking about that", the minister said.
Skuodis has said earlier that an embargo on Russian and Belarusian goods transported by road and sea should apply across the European Union, rather than just in the Baltic countries and Poland, meaning that any decision on that has to be taken at "European level".
It is also important that such a ban should cover both trucks and ships, according to the minister.
The European Commission on Tuesday proposed a new package of sanctions against Russia, including banning coal imports and closing European ports to Russian ships.