Lithuania’s foreign minister faces interpellation over Kaliningrad transit sanctions

Lithuania’s foreign minister faces interpellation over Kaliningrad transit sanctions
By bne IntelliNews July 20, 2022

Lithuania’s opposition MPs announced on July 20 they are spearheading an interpellation motion against Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis over his handling of EU sanctions on Russian goods transiting via Lithuania to Kaliningrad.

As reported by bne IntelliNews, Lithuania ceased the transit of sanctioned goods between mainland Russia and the exclave of Kaliningrad in mid-June, saying it was implementing EU sanctions.

However, the European Commission subsequently issued specifications that rail transportation of non-military goods to Kaliningrad will be allowed.

Social Democratic MP Gintautas Paluckas said opposition MPs were setting up a consultative group to write down the questions for the minister.

“The Social Democrats will put their signatures under the interpellation motion,” he said.

MP Dainius Gaizauskas of the opposition Farmers and Greens Union (LVZS) said his party would also support an interpellation motion against Landsbergis.

“I think we should have a format to have the minister answer a lot of questions, very specific ones and very clearly, from the rostrum of the parliament,” Saulius Skvernelis, leader of the Democratic Union For Lithuania, told reporters,, the website of Lithuanian national broadcaster LRT, reported on July 20.

Skvernelis told reporters that the interpellation procedure will be aimed at getting answers to a growing number of questions surrounding the Kaliningrad transit, rather than removing the minister from his post.

At least 29 MPs need to sign an interpellation motion and submit it to a member of the cabinet. The latter then has two weeks to answer the questions in writing.

Meanwhile, Landsbergis retorted that “internal disputes” over the Kaliningrad transit controversy could give Russia additional trump cards.

“What I would like most of all is that we do not give additional trump cards to our opponents – real opponents, not opponents in the parliament, but real enemies of Lithuania,” Landsbergis told reporters on July 20.

Asked whether the opposition’s interpellation would be such a “trump card”, however, Landsbergis said no.