St. Petersburg, August 15 – The decision of the Lithuanian “Siauliai Bank” to stop operations with Russia in rubles will not affect rail transit to the Kaliningrad region, since invoices for transit services were previously issued in foreign currency, the press service of the regional government reported.
The Lithuanian Siauliai Bank, through which payments for Kaliningrad transit passed, will stop transactions with Russia in rubles from August 15, and payments in all other currencies will be stopped on September 1, said Valeria Kiguolene, a representative of the Association of Lithuanian Banks. Earlier, at the end of July, the bank announced the termination of operations with Russia from September 1.
“The fact that Šiauliai Bank stopped accepting payments in rubles will in no way affect railway transit, because even before that, invoices for its service were issued in foreign currency,” said Dmitry Lyskov, head of the press service of the government of the Kaliningrad region.
Since June 18, Vilnius has banned the transport of goods subject to EU sanctions through its territory to the Kaliningrad region: building materials, metal, wood, cement, fertilizers, alcohol, caviar and other categories – in general, about half of the total volume of traffic. According to the Lithuanian authorities, they were only complying with EU sanctions. Subsequently, the European Commission published clarifications according to which transit to Kaliningrad by road remains prohibited, and transit by rail is possible with proper control.
Earlier, the Minister of Transport of Lithuania, Marius Skuodis, said that the decision to stop accepting payments from Russia, which could lead to a stop in transit to Kaliningrad, is made by the banks themselves, and the state cannot influence them in any way. In response, the governor of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, offered to open an account with the Lithuanian treasury to pay for rail transit. In his opinion, such an account can be opened for the Russian Railways in order to make payments to the Lithuanian Railways through it.
Later, information appeared in the media, citing the Lithuanian Ministry of Finance, that the law on the state treasury does not provide for such a possibility.