The EU is accommodating to Moscow

Dispute over the movement of goods: goods wagons stand on the tracks of the goods station in Kaliningrad on June 21.
Image: dpa

Russia accused Lithuania and the EU of blocking the area around the former Koenigsberg. A compromise is now emerging that will secure Russian access. In Lithuania, not everyone is happy with that.

EIt is up to the EU Commission to determine the necessary application rules for the sanctions against Russia, said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz when asked about the Kaliningrad conflict on Thursday. But then the chancellor added an important sentence. Of course, this must always be determined “in the light of the fact that we are talking about traffic between two parts of Russia”. The Lithuanian government saw things differently when, two weeks ago, it imposed import bans on steel and iron products that are brought by rail from Russia to the Kaliningrad exclave, formerly K√∂nigsberg, via Lithuanian territory. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis argued that only the regulations of the EU Commission were being implemented.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Matthias Wysuwa

Political correspondent for northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

In the fourth package of sanctions against Russia, decided in mid-March, the EU states not only banned the import of a long list of products, but also their “transportation”. Thus, it should be ruled out that Russia exports these goods via seaports in the European Union, for example via those in the Baltic States. But should transit between Russia and its exclave also be stopped?

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