Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Russia-Lithuania Tension Continues

In the wake of the recently-imposed Russian oil blockade of Lithuania, Lithuanian officials have made statements about the need to impose restrictions on rail traffic between Russia and Kaliningrad Oblast. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov has called the statements "provocative" and "politically motivated":
Titov argued that such Lithuanian "hints" amount to "political repairs..., which are spurious and provocative. Those who came up with such ideas must be aware that threats of this kind could have consequences for bilateral relations." He acknowledged that the Lithuanian statements about the trunk line came in response to the recent Russian shutdown of the Druzhba-1 oil pipeline to Lithuania's Mazeikiu oil refinery, which is the only refinery in the Baltic states and which a Polish firm is about to acquire at the expense of Russian interests. But Titov said that "it is regrettable that an accident on the Druzhba pipeline has given rise to so much speculation. The pipeline cannot be fully restored instantly. The accident [that led to a massive leak] must be investigated and measures taken if an environmental disaster is to be prevented." He claimed that an unspecified amount of Russian oil is still reaching the refinery by "alternative routes...in line with signed agreements" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," August 16, 17, and 22, 2006). PM

RFE/RL Newsline
Post a Comment