VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government is not considering dismantling Russian-gauge railway tracks, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Monday, amid proposals to do so for national security reasons.
"This is certainly not an issue for consideration in the short term," Simonyte told reporters.
"I understand that everyone has got excited about the transport of sanctioned goods, but I'd suggest not to forget that there is also a treaty between the Republic of Lithuania, the European Union and the Russian Federation on the facilitated transit of citizens," the prime minister said.
"I understand that hotheads have all sorts of proposals, such as turning off the pipes or cutting off the rail tracks, but this is certainly not an issue for the government to consider," she added.
Following last week's release of the European Commission's new guidelines allowing Russia to transport sanctioned goods from and to Kaliningrad via Lithuania for the exclave's needs, some have suggested dismantling Russian-gauge railway tracks that run through the country.
Gintaras Bagdonas, a former Lithuanian military intelligence chief, has told the 15min news website that Lithuania would be safer if it dismantled the tracks.