Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad is bumping up against quotas imposed by the European Union for sanctioned goods that it can import across Lithuania from mainland Russia or Belarus, the region’s governor said on Tuesday.
Lithuania infuriated Moscow in June by banning the land transit of goods such as concrete and steel to Kaliningrad after EU sanctions on them came into force.
As part of a deal reached in July, the EU imposed limits on the volume of such goods crossing by land between Kaliningrad and mainland Russia or Belarus, based on average volumes over the last three years, to prevent Kaliningrad being used to dodge sanctions.
Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov estimated that the limits permit Russia to ship around 500,000 tonnes of sanctioned goods in total in both directions each year. But he said some quotas had already been reached, making it impossible, for instance, for Kaliningrad to import cement from Belarus – which used to account for around 200,000 tonnes a year.
Moscow says trade with its outlying territory should not be subject to limits.