VILNIUS – Lithuania's former president should know that the European Council does not take decisions on the implementation of sanctions, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.
"We talked about solidarity with Lithuania at the European Council as that's the purpose of the European Council. I briefed on the situation, the threats from Russia, and my colleagues unanimously agreed," Nauseda told reporters in Madrid on Thursday.
His comment came in response to ex-President Dalia Grybauskaite's criticism on Wednesday when she said Lithuania should have expressed its position on the Kaliningrad transit during last week's European Council meeting, adding that no changes or updates on the issue can be adopted by EU without Lithuania's consent.
"Certainly, the European Council does not take decisions on the application of sanctions, and the former president his should know that very well," the president said, adding that the government is responsible for the application of sanctions, but all institutions want Lithuania's interests to be represented.
"The application of sanctions is in the hands of the government, and we will all work consistently (...) and together to make sure that Lithuania's interests are represented. That's the biggest and highest priority for us", Nauseda said.
Lithuania restricted the transit of steel and ferrous metals to Kaliningrad after the EU anctions came into force on June 17, citing the EC's clarification. In response, Moscow claimed the transit restrictions violated international agreements and threatened to retaliate.
In response, the EC is currently drafting updated sanction guidelines.