All news

Russia hopes for rational settlement of Kaliningrad transit issue — diplomat

It was stressed that the people of Kaliningrad would not experience any adverse effects

MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. Russia hopes for a rational solution to the transit blockade of its westernmost region of Kaliningrad, but will be ready to guarantee the region’s socio-economic development in any case, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Friday.

"I would like to hope that a rational solution will be identified," he said in reply to a question on the sidelines of a discussion on the platform of the Valdai international discussion club.

He stressed that the people of Kaliningrad would not experience any adverse effects.

"We have every opportunity to provide all essentials for a normal life and economic and social development in the region," Grushko said.

Russia has expressed to the EU its concerns over the current situation and is now "working on a package of countermeasures" in response to Lithuania's decision.

"We have a certain dialogue with the EU. We have expressed our concerns. I believe that we managed to explain to them that the decisions Lithuania had insisted on would entail serious costs not only for Lithuania, but also for the European Union itself," Grushko said. "The message was driven home. They looked concerned, too."

On June 18, Lithuania said that it had stopped letting through sanctioned goods transiting its territory from Russia’s regions to Kaliningrad by rail. On June 21, it became known that the restrictions also applied to truck traffic. The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin said that Lithuania's actions were illegal and contradicted international agreements. The Lithuanian authorities argue that they had not introduced any unilateral or additional restrictions, but merely "consistently apply EU sanctions.".