The Lithuanian commercial bank Siauliu bankas, which services the transit of goods from Russia to Kaliningrad, has stopped processing ruble payments. This was announced by the representative of the Association of Lithuanian Banks Valerija Kiguolene on the air of LRT radio. She also added that from September 1, any transactions with clients from Russia will be suspended.
Commercial banks in Lithuania fear violating EU sanctions against Russia. In this regard, the Association previously stated that the authorities should give state guarantees for payments for Kaliningrad transit.
At the same time, on August 11, the representative of the European Commission, Ariana Podesta, made a statement that payments for freight transit through Lithuania to Kaliningrad do not violate the sanctions regime. In addition, the Minister of Transport of the country, Marius Skuodis, said that the processing of ruble payments now completely depends on the decision of Lithuanian commercial banks, and not on the state.
In June, Lithuania stopped the passage of freight trains and cars with goods subject to EU sanctions through its territory, in connection with which the Charge d'Affaires of Lithuania was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. She was informed that if Lithuania does not restore transit in the near future, Russia reserves the right to take action to protect its national interests. After that, the European Commission developed a document that allowed transit.