Seimas’ speaker says Lithuanian carriers ousted from Russian market for political reasons
The BNS writes that Russia shoved Lithuanian carriers out of its transit market for political reasons, Lithuanian Parliamentary Speaker Arunas Valinskas said on Wednesday.
The parliamentary speaker based this conclusion on political events of July and August, namely the resolution to equate Nazi and Stalinist crimes adopted in the Organization for Security and Cooperation Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) Vilnius session – met with ardent criticism by the Russian Duma – and Lithuania’s decision to decline entry to renowned pro-Russian propagandist Modest Kolerov.
“We can draw inferences ourselves, I believe, and think you would back me on this, that it was a political decision to oust Lithuanian carriers from the Russian transit market,” Valinskas on Wednesday said on news radio.
The Seimas speaker feels this can be concluded also from Russia’s statements denying a possibly political tone of the decision.
“Sound reasoning would lead to a conclusion that this was a political decision on Russia’s part, which is indicated in Russia’s repeated argument – just don’t go thinking that this is a political decision, it is economic, of administrative nature, etc. If this is what Russia’s side is saying, then we can be sure almost 100 percent that this was a political decision handed down for implementation to the customs,” Valinskas said.
According to the politician, who leads the controversy-torn National Resurrection Party, the pact reached between Lithuania-Russia customs last week is detrimental to Lithuanian carriers, as the 29 blacklisted hauler companies, which will be subject to tighter customs procedures, carry out approximately 70 percent of Lithuania’s transit to the Russian market.
The parliamentary speaker in an interview to news radio recalled the entire sequence of events that led to Russia’s decision to impose stricter procedures, namely the Lithuania-backed OSCE PA resolution on Nazi and Stalinist crimes adopted on July 03, Russian Duma’s criticizing statement of July 18, Russian customs announcement issued July 23 of impending tighter regulations for Lithuanian carriers, denied entry to Lithuania on July 30 for Kremlin-linked portal’s regnum.ru Editor-in-Chief Kolerov and the queues of Lithuanian carriers that started accumulating on the Latvia-Russia border on August 04.