FT explained problems with transit to Kaliningrad with unclear language

FT: EU blames Kaliningrad transit problem on unclear EC wording Some EU officials fear that the scale of Lithuanian authorities' handling of Russian rail cargo will lead to a “dangerous confrontation with Russia”

Some EU officials believe that the problems with the transit of goods to Kaliningrad through Lithuania were the ambiguous wording in the sanctions documents, reports the Financial Times, citing sources.

Diplomats told the publication that they did not intend to create barriers to the flow of goods between the main territory of Russia and its exclave when sanctions were approved in the spring.

«Kaliningrad— politically sensitive issue, so the European Commission made a mistake,— said one EU diplomat.

According to the newspaper, some EU officials have privately criticized the scale and intensity of the actions of the Lithuanian authorities in relation to Russian rail cargo. They fear it could create a “dangerous showdown with Russia in a geopolitically sensitive part of Europe,” the FT said.

Since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of a number of goods from Russia to Kaliningrad through its territory. The Lithuanian authorities explained this decision by the implementation of EU sanctions. Moscow called the restriction illegal. The head of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, presented the Russian government with a draft response that would be “very critical for Lithuania.”

In early July, Spiegel reported that the German authorities had asked for an exception in the sanctions for the Kaliningrad region in order to avoid an escalation. According to the publication, the German government was outraged by the actions of Lithuania.

Read on RBC Pro Pro x The Economist Can the eurozone stay united in the face of the crisis — The Economist Pro How China's Tech Sector Lost $2 Trillion in Capitalization Eat what nature intended to lose weight and improve health Summary Pro Sleeping 8 hours a day and being lazy: Jeff Bezos' healthy habits The document says that motor transport companies registered in Russia are prohibited from transporting goods by road across the EU, including in transit.

“However, this prohibition does not apply to the transportation of goods in transit through the territory of the EU between the Kaliningrad region and Russia, provided that the transportation of such goods is not prohibited in accordance with the regulation. The transit of sanctioned goods by road is therefore not allowed,— stated in the document.

At the same time, the clarification notes that “this special regime does not apply to rail transport on the same route.”

Official representative Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said in response that Moscow still has questions about the position of the European Commission on transit to Kaliningrad. According to her, the Russian side will closely monitor how these EU steps will be implemented in practice.

At the same time, the Foreign Ministry called the decision to lift restrictions on certain products transported by rail through the Russian exclave a manifestation realism and common sense.

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