Lithuania made lots of comments to EC on Kaliningrad transit – PM

  • 2022-06-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania has provided quite a number of comments to the European Commission as the latter is drafting new guidelines on how the existing EU sanctions for Russia should apply to the transit of goods to Kaliningrad, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says.

Lithuanian leaders met at the Presidential Palace on Monday and agreed on "key principles and provisions" for consultations with the EC. The Commission is still drafting the document and Lithuania had the opportunity to comment on it over the weekend, Simonyte said.

"Lithuania made a number of comments to the Commission, but since the work is ongoing, I wouldn't want to comment any further," the prime minister told reporters at the Seimas on Monday.

In her words, the EC had sent a document which, Lithuania's representatives maintain, "has a lot of uncertainties and causes additional problems".

"We drew the EC's attention to all these problems, as far as we know, the work is ongoing," Simonyte added.

Earlier this month, Lithuania restricted the transit of steel and ferrous metals to Kaliningrad when the existing EU sanctions came into force, and said it did so in line with the EC's clarification.

Moscow says the transit restrictions violate international agreements and has threatened to retaliate.

In response to the situation, the EC is currently preparing updated guidelines on the sanctions implementation.

"Perhaps that position is being amended or effort to do so is being made after somehow someone got surprised that the regulation could be interpreted the way it is being applied right now. It seems to me that this should not be very surprising, but this is usually the case in life, and it seems to me that it is not only in this case when two lawyers can have two different interpretations of the same text," Simonyte said.

One of the issues that is now being addressed is the application of the sanctions to different groups of sanctioned goods.

"We certainly cannot have inconsistent positions as we believe there's no difference. The main difference of the regulation's application to different goods is only in the time when the transitional periods expire," she said.