Under whatever circumstances Moscow will not allow "blocking" the Kaliningrad region /Russia's enclave on the Baltic sea/, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has said. He made the statement at a meeting with journalists on Tuesday after his negotiations with his Lithuanian opposite number in the Palanga resort place in the North of Lithuania.
The two defense ministers discussed the transit of cargoes and passengers between the Kaliningrad enclave and mainland Russia after Lithuania's entry into the European Union. No matter what question is raised, Russia has on its own to ensure transport communications with Kaliningrad, stressed the Russian minister. He said that in this connection the construction of a sea ferry crossing is beginning. It will link the Russian Ust-Luga port near St.Petersburg with Kaliningrad and with ports in Germany. Ferry service along this route will begin on January 1 next year.
Sergei Ivanov said that Russia would also like to use railway and air transport for communication with the enclave across the Latvian territory, though Moscow is not going to "encroach upon the sovereignty of Lithuania". Sergei Ivanov recalled that "there are 39 different exceptions" in the Schengen agreement, which Lithuania intends to join. Hence, the matter of transit across the Lithuanian territory can, "if so willed", be resolved, stressed the Russian minister.