Interfax reported on the 21st (local time) that Lithuaina, one of the three Baltic countries, has extended restrictions on the transportation of cargo to Kaliningrad, an offshore territory in western Russia through its own country, not only by rail but also by car.
According to the report, the Kaliningrad provincial public affairs office said on the same day that “freight transport restrictions also applied to the transport of motor vehicles via Lithuania.”
Car freight companies also confirmed the information, according to the news agency, adding that Lithuanian customs on the Belarus-Lithuanian border are returning cargo vehicles.
In the meantime, Russian cargo has been mainly transported by train or car to the offshore territory of Kaliningrad via neighboring Belarus and Lithuania.
Lithuania has severely restricted rail freight transport through its territory to the Kaliningrad province, starting on the 18th.
Anton Alikhanov, Governor of Kaliningrad Province, said on the 17th that “The railway authorities of the province of Kaliningrad have been notified that the transportation of goods subject to EU sanctions via Lithuania will be suspended from 00:00 on the 18th.”
He explained that transport restrictions include construction materials, cement, and steel products, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of all cargo transit through Lithuania.
As a result, Russia has no choice but to rely on shipping via the Baltic Sea to send goods subject to EU sanctions to Kaliningrad.
Russia has previously warned that it will take strong countermeasures if Lithuania does not immediately lift cargo restrictions.
Lithuania, a small Baltic country with a population of about 2.7 million, gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 and joined the EU and NATO in 2004, and is in conflict with Russia.
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