EU allows cargo to pass through Russian port of Kaliningrad

by John Konrad (gCaptain) On Wednesday, the European Commission issued guidelines aimed at reducing tensions with Moscow over cargo shipments between the port of Kaliningrad – a Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania in the Baltic Sea – and Russia proper.

The EU said it would not stop most non-military goods traveling by rail from reaching the Baltic port in Lithuania. The move comes after weeks of talks with European diplomats over sanctions to be imposed on Russian products and the scope and intensity of Lithuania’s inspection of Russian trains.

Kaliningrad is a major transport hub and the headquarters of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy. It is also one of the largest industrial centers in Russia, but it is separated from the rest of Russia by Lithuania.

“The EU decision is a demonstration of realism and common sense,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “But we still have questions about the document in question.”

Lithuanian officials said they had correctly implemented EU sanctions against Russia and were within their rights to inspect Russian trains. They denied Russian claims that their actions had “blocked” the port.

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