Reuters: EU ready to allow transit of Russian goods to Kaliningrad. But if Lithuania agrees

Oleksiy Yarmolenko

The European Union is ready to exclude Russiaʼs Kaliningrad oblast from sanctions and allow the transit of goods there through the EU. This process can resume in a few days.

This was reported by Reuters, citing its own sources.

They note that the EU is approaching a compromise agreement with Lithuania, which has blocked the transit of goods to Kaliningrad due to sanctions against Russia.

Currently, European officials plan to release goods bound for Kaliningrad from sanctions. If Lithuania agrees to such conditions, transit will be able to resume in early July.

Sources of the publication note that in Lithuania they are afraid that in case of failure to resolve the issue of transit, the Russians will try to create a land corridor to Kaliningrad via Belarus with the help of their troops.

"(Putin) has much more leverage than we have. Itʼs in our interests to find a compromise," said one source, acknowledging that the end result may seem unfair.

The EU is working to make an exception for the transport of goods to Kaliningrad. In particular, they point out that this cannot be considered international trade, as goods are transported from one part of Russia to another. Sanctions can also be lifted for so-called humanitarian reasons.

  • On June 18, the Lithuanian authorities imposed a ban on the rail transit of sanctioned goods through their territory to Kaliningrad oblast of Russia. The ban affected coal, metals, cement, wood, building materials, and high-tech products. According to the governor of Kaliningrad oblast Anton Alikhanov, 40-50% of all cargoes were banned. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry stated that the restrictions were introduced after consultation with and under the leadership of the European Commission.
  • In response, Russia began threatening Lithuania, and military exercises began in Kaliningrad oblast. Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev said that the Kremlin would soon respond to the "blockade" of the oblast, and the people of Lithuania "will seriously feel the consequences of these measures."