VILNIUS - Tempers flared last week as close to 300 Lithuanian-registered trucks were stuck at the border trying to cross into Russia to deliver their cargo, reports news agency ELTA. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas said that "the tightened border inspection was applied only to the Lithuanian carriers."
According to information available to Linava, the Lithuanian National Road Carriers' Association, the trucks were held up in long queues at various Russian state border control posts after the Federal Customs Service of Russia tightened border inspection for all Lithuanian carriers.
Russia's Transport Minister Igor Levitin, chairman of the intergovernmental commission of Lithuania and Russia, promised that Lithuanian carriers would be helped and the problems faced when crossing the Russian state border would be solved.
The reason given for the stricter inspection of Lithuanian carriers, said Russia's Federal Customs Service to the Lithuanian Customs Department, is that there have been 16 violations made by the Lithuanian carriers since the beginning of this year. According to officials, customs procedures on goods have not been finalized. The figure noted by the Russian customs officers comprises only 0.03 percent of all customs procedures carried out by the Lithuanian carriers, and this number of violations does not exceed the average.
The situation is now easing, and Lithuanian carriers on the road to Kaliningrad are again being inspected, in line with the usual procedures, say officials. The case of those going through Belarus is also improving.
Problems related to Lithuanian carriers' delay on the border between Latvia and Russia are expected to be solved soon too, says Lithuania's Transport Minister Eligijus Masiulis.