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Lithuanian police cut short Russian servicemen's journey

  • 2000-05-25
VILNIUS (BNS) - Yet another Russian military team of servicemen
travelling in transit through Lithuanian territory without proper
travel documents was detained early May 22 by the Lithuanian border
police at the Kena railway border crossing point near Vilnius.

Five teams of Russian servicemen were travelling on the train from
Moscow to Kaliningrad. The Border Police department reported that the
15 servicemen did not have transit visas from the Lithuanian Defense
Ministry's transport service. The train Moscow-Kaliningrad was delayed
for two hours and left Kena at about 5 a.m.

About four hours later, the unarmed Russian servicemen continued their
journey on the next train to Kaliningrad, after the Lithuanian
authorities had granted them the necessary visas.

This has been a third incident in succession when teams of Russian
military servicemen had been removed from a train travelling to
Kaliningrad because of transit visa problems.

On May 20 the border police ordered a team of 27 Russian servicemen
travelling to Kaliningrad to leave the train at Kena railway crossing
point. The group did not have valid transit visas and was returned to
Belarus.

On May 9, two teams of Russian servicemen comprising 13 people, were
told to get off the St. Petersburg-Kaliningrad train by the border
police and sent back to Russia. In 1999 four Russian military teams
were banned from continuing their journey through Lithuania because
they failed to produce valid transit visas.

A group larger than three servicemen is called a military team.