Lithuania Implements Temporary Law on Russians Traveling by Transit to and from Kaliningrad Region

Lithuania has implemented a temporary new law for Russians traveling by transit across Lithuania to and from the Kaliningrad Region. This was announced to a Rosbalt correspondent on Wednesday, January 8, at the Lithuanian General Consulate in Saint Petersburg. According to this law, Lithuanian border control is checking all trains traveling in and out of Lithuania from January 1 and the documents of all Russians traveling on those trains.

From February 1, 2003, it will be necessary to show one of the following: a diplomatic, service or foreign Russian passport, a foreign Russian passport with the USSR stamp (this should show Russian citizenship) an internal Russian passport or an internal Russian passport with the USSR stamp (this should show Russian citizenship), a naval passport. An official certificate of return to Russia will also be required. Before arrival at the checkpoints in Kena and Kibartai, Russians traveling on the trains will receive and fill in an application form requesting permission to travel by transit across Lithuanian territory. It is expected that once the Lithuanian border control has given permission to travel, passengers will be unable to leave the train until it has left Lithuanian territory.

This law will be in force until July 1, 2003, and will not apply to those Russian citizens who already have a valid Lithuanian visa or who are permanent residents of the Kaliningrad Region.

By showing suitable identification, the residents of the Kaliningrad Region will be able to travel into Lithuania until July 2003 and remain on Lithuanian territory for a period of 30 days without a visa. Russian children under 16 who live in the Kaliningrad Region and do not have a foreign Russian passport should be registered in their parents' passports and have their birth certificates with them.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has informed its Russian counterpart of this temporary new law.

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