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Published: 13 september 2013 15:28

Russia tightens border checks on freight traffic from Lithuania, provoking protest from Vilnius

Graikijoje protestuoja ūkininkai.
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Russia’s customs on Thursday tightened controls on cargo transported from Lithuania, thoroughly checking all freight vehicles loaded in the country.

Meanwhile Lithuania handed a note of protest over the excessively diligent checks at border checkpoints.

"According to information available to the government, Russian customs imposed central risk profile procedures for Lithuanian carriers, and this could burden the transport of Lithuanian to Russia," Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius told BNS.

"Foreign Vice-Minister Andrius Krivas expressed deep concern and presented a note of a relevant content," the Foreign Ministry said.

According to the press release, Russia's Ambassador Vladimir Chkhikvadze was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday for explanations over the discriminatory measures applied by Russia.

The ministry said cars with Lithuanian license plates are subjected to thorough examination on the Lithuanian-Russian border since August 30, while the same scheme was launched on cargo from Lithuania as of September 11. The new procedures have caused Lithuanian carriers and logistics companies to incur financial losses.

Algimantas Kondrusevičius told BNS that he was unaware of the reasons that had led to the tightening of controls.

“Starting from yesterday, Russia is applying a special regime based on risk profile for cargo from Lithuania. The risk identifier is the country of loading, which is Lithuania. It means full unloading, full inspection of the cargo, sample taking and sending of samples for examination,” he said.

Kondrusevičius noted that this was the first time such checks were applied to cargo transported from Lithuania. “Such things have certainly never happened before, except perhaps individual haulers,” he said adding that unofficial sources said that this measure had been ordered by the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

BNS
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