Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Loreta Graužinienė has refrained from comments on President Dalia Grybauskaitė's strong-worded statements on Russia, noting that the European Union (EU) should speak in one voice on the matter.
Loreta Graužinienė
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

In Graužinienė's opinion, Russia's latest sanctions on Lithuania - whose trucks and cars are subjected to punishing checks at the Russian border - are not directly related to the Lithuanian president's statements.

President Grybauskaitė has said recently that Russia is a terrorist state.

"I would not link it to the rhetoric but rather with the overall geopolitical situation, I would not link it to a specific action. This is the general geopolitical situation, and both Lithuania and other Baltic states are faced with inconveniences and trouble in the economic sector," the parliamentary speaker told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning.

"I would like to refrain from commenting on the president's statement. I have an opinion and I think we and Europe should speak in one voice, and one country or one politician probably will not determine a decision against the Russian policies," Graužinienė said in comment of the president's words on Russia.

She also said the topic should be left to Italy which is currently presiding over the EU Council. "The foreign policy is a common matter, especially in this context, this is not just a matter of Russia and Lithuania alone, this is a matter for whole Europe. Italy now holds the presidency, we should still hear Italy's voice, the country that takes the responsibilities of presidency should have an opportunity to speak more on behalf of the European Union," said Graužinienė.

Last Thursday, Grybauskaitė called Russia a terrorist state, noting that Moscow was sending troops to eastern Ukraine without identification signs. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs soon responded by saying that the Lithuanian president's rhetoric "surpasses even most extremist statements voiced by radical nationalists in Kiev."

The following day, Russian authorities considerably slowed down the access of vehicles with Lithuanian license plates to its Kaliningrad region. The Lithuanian national road carriers' association LINAVA said on Tuesday it had been information that the Russian customs issued a memo on Monday night, ordering prolonged full inspection of vehicles and cargo from Lithuania.

Andrey Belyaninov, head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia, said stepped-up inspections come in response to the alleged use of the Lithuanian territory for imports of products banned in Russia.

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