The ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania accused Moscow yesterday (24 November) of blocking its vehicles and goods at the Russian border, and summoned its ambassador to protest.
Trucking and logistics for trade with Russia are a crucial part of the European Union member's economy, and have largely survived tit-for-tat embargoes between Russia and the EU.
However, ties are under strain. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė promised yesterday to give Ukraine military aid to help in its fight against Russian-backed separatists, after last week branding Russia a "terrorist country" for refusing to identify troops operating in east Ukraine as Russian.
Vilnius said no Lithuanian-registered cars or trucks had been admitted into Russia's Kaliningrad region since the weekend.
"I told the ambassador that Lithuania thinks the measures that the Russian officers are applying to Lithuanian-registered vehicles, to Lithuanian trucks, to goods produced or loaded in Lithuania ... are of a discriminatory nature," Andrius Krivas, Lithuania's vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, told reporters.
"I ... asked the ambassador to cease this discriminatory practice immediately."
Russia's Transport Ministry declined to comment.
A year ago, Russia briefly blocked Lithuania's trucks as Vilnius prepared to host the signing of a treaty between Ukraine and the EU - which Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich's ultimately refused to sign, setting off the mass protests that led to his overthrow.
"The drivers report that all traffic from Lithuania was blocked as of this morning," said Algimantas Kondrusevicius, president of the Lithuanian truckers' association Linava.
"Our truck companies, our warehouses are already losing clients who are afraid of delays and trying to hire trucks from other countries."
A Romanian man was surprised to find 95,000 euros ($107,000) stashed inside a secondhand cupboard he’d bought — and promptly returned the money.( ) Read all
"First of all I want to mention what my colleagues from commission told me. They said that commission hearing was canceled because of Maia Sandu, who is abroad, required to cancel this hearing, because she is participating at a Congress of Popular European Party at Helsinki if I'm not wrong....( ) Read all
KIEV, Ukraine — In the spring of 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was desperate for Mark Zuckerberg’s help. His government had been urging Facebook to stop the Kremlin’s spreading of misinformation on the social network to foment distrust in his new...( ) Read all
Staunton, October 22 – Despite the fact that Ukraine’s Orthodox church is about to be granted autocephaly and ever more people in Belarus are expressing hope that their country will be the next to escape from under the yoke of the Moscow Patriarchate, few have paid...( ) Read all
WASHINGTON — Russians working for a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin are engaging in an elaborate campaign of “information warfare” to interfere with the American midterm elections next month, federal prosecutors said on Friday in unsealing charges against a woman...( ) Read all
( ) Read all