According to officials, Russia last week imposed a new restriction for Lithuanian road haulers, forcing them to carry goods from the border to internal customs offices under escort. Russian customs imposed central risk profile procedures for Lithuanian carriers which could additionally burden the transport of goods from Lithuania to Russia.
Gytis Vincevičius, the spokesman of ‘Linava’ (Lithuanian haulers’ association), told BNS that “40 trucks have already been escorted. One such escort, for example, to Moscow costs 900 litas (EUR 261)”.
According to the press release, Russia’s Ambassador Vladimir Chkhikvadze was summoned last week to the Foreign Ministry for explanations over the discriminatory measures applied by Russia.
The Foreign Ministry said cars with Lithuanian license plates are subjected to thorough examination on the Lithuanian-Russian border since 30 August, while the same procedure was launched on cargo from Lithuania as of 11 September. The new procedures have caused Lithuanian carriers and logistics companies to incur financial losses.
A spokesman for the ‘Linava’ says that the country’s haulers are becoming uncompetitive and that they have suffered around 10 million euros in losses in a week. Trucks which used to clear customs in half a day are now backed up on the Lithuanian-Russian border awaiting permits which could up take up to a week. The spokesman added that Lithuanian haulers’ losses in the past week were roughly estimated at least at 10 million euros.
Russia at the start of this month tightened checks on passenger cars from Lithuania, and on 12 September, on trucks. Haulers said last Wednesday that trucks carrying perishable goods were no longer being subjected to extra detailed checks.
Lithuania has accused Russia of imposing new border checks as part of its campaign to intimidate former Soviet republics seeking closer ties with the European Union.
Lithuania’s foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, said he “expects” other EU states to urge Russia to keep to its international commitments, and “to stop and refrain from any discriminatory practices directed at Lithuania as the rotating EU presidency.”
Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available