Maksva, not Vilnius, must find ways to pay for transit from Kaliningrad, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said, telling banks operating in Lithuania whether they would violate international sanctions by making such payments.
“It is not Lithuania’s responsibility to help the Russian Federation pay for the cars. It is its responsibility. Russia must find ways to settle and pay,” the minister told LRT on Monday.
According to him, there were situations when, when banks refused to make payments, Russia placed cash orders. However, the minister said he doubts that such a solution is possible in the case of the Kaliningrad transit.
“I don’t know, I’m not convinced that it would be possible to pay for transit in cash, I’m just saying that sometimes there are ways to be creative,” said G. Landsbergis.
“I will not be an adviser to the Russian Federation. It is their responsibility,” he added.
At the end of July, the Russian charge d’affaires in Lithuania, Sergejus Riabokonis, announced that he had delivered a note to the Foreign Ministry in Vilnius regarding the alleged suspension of payments for transit services in Kaliningrad.
The diplomat told state television “Rossija 24” that operators using the services of “Lithuanian Railways” in Russia have to pay for the transport of goods, and Vilnius directed all these payments through the only bank Šiauliai, which will not carry out any operations with Russia since September.
The Šiaulių bankas website clarifies that after September 1, “exceptions to the execution of payments by prior agreement may be applied in cases where payments are made for humanitarian purposes or to perform the functions of the State”.
The bank says it is currently clarifying the situation with the responsible institutions.
The Financial Crimes Investigation Service confirmed to BNS last week that exceptions may apply when servicing Kaliningrad transit payments, but each situation would be assessed individually. The Office also indicated that it had already applied such an exception.
Russia resumed the transfer of some sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region in July, about a month after Lithuania banned it, based on a clarification from the European Commission in April.
After Russia called the restrictions a blockade of the Kaliningrad region and threatened retaliation, the European Commission in July drew up new guidelines for the resumption of rail transit.
Source: The Delfi