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Lithuania will scan all Russian wagons headed to Kaliningrad

Lithuania will scan all Russian wagons headed to Kaliningrad
photo: Archive/Lithuania will scan all Russian wagons headed to Kaliningrad
11 / 10 / 2022

Lithuania has taken measures to enhance control over freight trains arriving on its territory and travelling to the Kaliningrad region by implementing a new system for X-ray inspection of trains at the Kenna station, which is located on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

The system, which can operate around the clock and scan trains travelling in both directions at speeds of up to 60 km per hour, facilitates full X-ray control of all freight cars. The system's main objective is to prevent smuggling and protect national security interests. On average, approximately 8-9 freight trains travel through the Kenna railway station daily. The cost of the project was 5.6 million euros, and a similar system should be installed at the Kibartai station on the Russian-Lithuanian border by year-end.

Earlier, Lithuania resumed the transit of sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation on July 22. The country had earlier ceased the rail transit of certain goods from the main territory of the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry had explained that the ban on transit was limited to steel and ferrous metal products and was implemented as part of the EU sanctions that came into effect on June 17. The Lithuanian Customs Service had noted that the ban was announced in mid-March, along with the adoption of the fourth EU sanctions package against Russia. The sanctions provided for the restriction of Russian steel and other ferrous metal products that were part of contracts concluded before June 17.

Lithuania expanded the restrictions on the transit of goods to the Russian city of Kaliningrad on July 11, as the gradual introduction of previously announced EU sanctions against Moscow came into effect. The new measures banned the transportation of cement, wood, alcohol, and industrial chemicals based on alcohol. On August 10, the sanctions were to be extended to coal and other solid minerals, and on December 5, on Russian oil. However, humanitarian categories of goods, such as food, were excluded from the sanctions.