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Moscow will respond if cargo transit from Belarus via Lithuania is banned

Moscow urges the partners not to follow the path of disrupting economic ties, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Russia will not ignore a possible ban on transit through Lithuania of cargoes from Belarus if it is imposed, according to a commentary by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the bill imposing sanctions against Minsk that is currently under consideration in Lithuania.

"Information about a possible ban on the transit of cargoes from Belarus through Lithuania was received with anxiety. We are convinced that this is a dead-end road as it may affect the provision of the Kaliningrad Region, negatively influence the economy, social position and the quality of life of the population of this Russian region," the commentary said.

"If passed, these restrictive measures will obviously not go unnoticed by Russia. We urge the partners not to follow the path of disrupting economic ties, but to do everything to normalize the situation and fully observe the international obligations of Lithuania regarding ensuring Russian cargo transit to and from the Kaliningrad Region, particularly the Russian-Lithuanian intergovernmental agreement on international highway service dated 1993 and other agreements," the diplomat noted.

Concurrently, Poland’s tightening of the requirement on the provision on PCR tests on the Russian-Polish border, reducing their period of validity to 24 hours, without preliminary notification has been surprising, Zakharova added. "Of course, we understand the difficulties of the epidemiological environment and the necessity of adequate measures on tackling the pandemic. However, we believe that it is necessary to discuss such steps concerning the routine life of many people with the international partners which are involved, and warn about them beforehand," she stressed.

Earlier, Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications drafted a bill prohibiting the transit of goods from Belarus. The bill registered by the ministry on December 10, suggests that the government and Sejm (parliament) of Lithuania impose sanctions on products imported from Belarus, purchased directly or supplied indirectly from the country. If implemented, the measure will prevent the transit of fertilizers of the Belarusian company Belaruskali through the territory of Lithuania.