"We respect and abide by the WTO requirements. This topic closes here. I believe that Russia will respect the WTO as well. Then it will be very good for us," Lietuvos Geležinkeliai Deputy CEO Albertas Šimėnas told BNS.
Maksim Medvedkov, director of the Trade Negotiations Department at the Russian Economic Development Ministry, said during a meeting with Kaliningrad's business people and regional government officials that Russia could now consider asking Lietuvos Geležinkeliai to lower rates for transportation to Kaliningrad, which the region's carriers regard as "discriminatingly high," the online portal Rugrad.eu has reported.
Medvedkov made it clear that differences between railway rates for freight transportation to the Lithuanian port of Klaipėda and those to Kaliningrad ports could be revised now that Russia has joined the WTO.
"It is quite possible to obtain a revision of these tariffs. We will be able to say that Lithuania's position does not comply with the WTO's standards and, therefore, we will demand to level out the conditions," he said.
Also discussed at the meeting was the issue of unification of Russia's domestic and international railway tariffs.
Under its agreements with the WTO, Russia has until 2013 to ensure that foreign and local companies are charged the same rates for Russian Railways' services, but it is not clear yet how it will do so.
It is said unofficially that Lietuvos Geležinkeliai's rates to Kaliningrad are lower than it would cost to cover the same distance by train in Russia.