The Russian enclave exhausts the transit limits of EU goods — RT Business News

The Russian enclave exhausts the transit limits of EU goods

Kaliningrad needs more products from mainland Russia than Western sanctions allow

EU sanctions, which regulate the amount of goods that can be shipped from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad, prevent the enclave from receiving all the items it needs, the local governor said on Tuesday.

“Today we have exhausted the EU limits on the transport of some types of cargo, for example certain types of iron, steel, oil and oil products, fertilizers, antifreeze and wood.”, said Anton Alikhanov, quoted by the RBC news agency, at the Valdai Discussion Club.

According to the governor, the scope of goods that the region needs is “really long,” but “no longer has opportunities for the established quotas.”

In mid-June, Lithuania restricted the transit of goods from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad by rail, citing EU sanctions. The ban includes construction materials, metals, wood, cement, fertilizers and alcohol, and has been condemned by Moscow as illegal.

In July, the European Commission issued guidance explaining that while road transit to Kalingrad is prohibited, rail freight can continue, with quantity limits imposed on each category of goods. Lithuania needs to check if the traffic volumes correlate with the average of the last three years, to detect «unusual flows or trading patterns that could lead to circumvention.”

Russian authorities welcomed the EU clarification, as it allowed transit to be restored, but noted that there is still “certain questions» y «There is much work to be done.”

In his speech on Monday, Alihanov also suggested increasing cargo deliveries to Kaliningrad by sea, to ease the enclave’s reliance on overland transit of goods.

“If we take the average volume of traffic in recent years, we need about 22 ships… This would untie our hands to take possible retaliatory measures against the Baltic States and their behavior in relation to the Kaliningrad region,”, said the governor. He noted that eight ferries are already in operation and one more vessel is expected to be commissioned in the near future.

At the end of June, the Siauliai Bank of Lithuania, which processed transactions related to the transit of Russian goods, announced that it would stop facilitating transactions in rubles from August 15 and that, as of September 1, it would no longer carry out transactions. banks with Russia or Belarus.

While Moscow urged dialogue to resolve the issue, Vilnius said the matter was within the bank’s jurisdiction and the government could not force it to change its stance.

Melissa Galbraith
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