Russia, Lithuania Discuss Kaliningrad Transit Schemes

Russia and Lithuania are holding bilateral consultations at the Russian Railways Ministry discussing schemes of transit via Lithuania to and from Kaliningrad, Russia's westernmost exclave region that will be cut from mainland Russia when the EU expands eastward. Lithuanian Ambassador to Russia Rimantas Sidlauskas said this as addressing a news conference in Moscow Tuesday.

Experts are working out schemes of obtaining data on passengers transiting by train via Lithuania, the schemes that will start working since July 1, said the ambassador. Tomorrow, the discussions will resume at the level of deputy foreign ministers, he added.

The diplomat said the European Parliament-approved procedure of issuing simplified transit documents to Russian residents travelling to or from the Kaliningrad region through Lithuania met the interests of all the three parties involved, i.e. the European Commission, Russia and Lithuania. The procedure will come into force on July 1 2003.

It is in line with the joint statement Russia and the European Union issued at the summit in Brussels on November 11 last year, said Mr Sidlauskas.

Besides, the new rules comply with European law and will soon become its integral part.

And finally, they do not infringe on Lithuania's interests, pointed out the ambassador.

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