KALININGRAD, June 18. /TASS/. Lithuania’s measures banning the transit of some goods from Russian regions through its territory to the Kaliningrad region are illegal and run counter to provisions of the agreement on Lithuania’s accession to the European Union, Governor Anton Alikhanov said in a video address on Saturday.
Alikhanov said earlier that Lithuania’s railways company had notified the railways company of the Kaliningrad region that they would ban the transit from Russia to the region of the goods that are subject to EU sanctions imposed on Moscow.
"These steps are illegal and may entail far-reaching implications for Lithuania and the European Union. In particular, I would like to quote a few paragraphs from the Joint Statement on EU Enlargement, with references to international agreements, the documents which both the European community and the Russian Federation acceded to," Alikhanov said.
Alikhanov pointed out that the signatories to the 2004 agreement on Lithuania’s accession to the EU reaffirmed that they "will apply in practice the principle of freedom of transit of goods, including energy, between the Kaliningrad Region and the rest of Russian territory."
"In particular, we confirm that there shall be freedom of such transit, and that the goods in such transit shall not be subject to unnecessary delays or restrictions and shall be exempt from customs duties and transit duties or other charges related to transit," Alikhanov quoted the Joint Statement.
The governor added that the Kaliningrad Region would call on the Russian federal authorities to take tit-for-tat measures against Lithuania unless this ban is lifted.
"Unless these illegal restrictions on the transportation of goods from the Kaliningrad Region are lifted by our European neighbors, we will propose that the federal authorities take respective retaliatory measures," the governor said adding that the issue was being considered.