The Minister of National Defense revealed the secret of the Russian military transit through Lithuania: what was being transported?

R. Lopata, who raised the question, promises to initiate an explanation

The issue of Russian military transit through Lithuania was raised by Raimundas Lopata, member of the ruling coalition, chairman of the Seimas Future Committee, representative of the Liberal Movement.

On his Facebook account, he raised public questions to state leaders as to why the Russian military transit took place even when Russia had already started a war in Ukraine. On Wednesday, R. Lopata announced at the press conference that this information was confirmed to him by the Minister of National Defense A. Anušauskas.

R. Lopata said that a couple of weeks ago he asked the Minister of National Defense A. Anušauskas in writing about the Russian military transit through Lithuania. After receiving the reply a few days ago.

Irmantos Gelūnos/BNS photo/Raimundas Lopata

“I wrote the answer as I received it. The military transit took place until March 28. days How it went – I cannot reveal, because it is classified”, R. Lopata testified.

He said that he would initiate an explanation in the National Security and Defense Committee of the Seimas, why it was classified and how and why that military transit took place.

R. Lopata assumed that this happened because they tried not to escalate the tension with Russia.

I wondered what was being transported. I received information that I cannot share because it is classified.

He wrote on his Facebook account: “I wondered when the military transit through Lithuania was actually stopped. I asked several of my colleagues when, in their opinion, military transit through Lithuania stopped. Everyone said they should have been gone since about 2014.

The annexation of Crimea should have been the red line when military cooperation with Russia had to end for Lithuania. All the more so because it is not regulated by any exclusive agreement, but is only an exclusive issue of Lithuania’s competence.

And it appears. The last military transit train left at the end of March 2022. At the time when the Russians were killing Ukrainians, a military transit to Kaliningrad took place through Lithuania for another month.

And the assumption remains that someone in Lithuania was afraid to stop and hid behind the EC. This is how the famous explanation about military transit came about, when one influential person in Lithuania happily explained that it will be an achievement that will silence all skeptics who oppose the EC guidelines.

I wondered what was being transported. I received information that I cannot share because it is classified.

Why does Lithuania keep secret from its citizens what is important only to Russia – the content of military cargo transported by Russia? Who is working here in our country, some representative of the GRU that responds to Russian requests?

Once again – to all Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers. How did it happen that there was a Russian military transit from the annexation of Crimea until the spring of this year? How does it fit with our policy?”, R. Lopata asks.

A. Anušauskas: only fuel was transported

Minister of National Defense A. Anušauskas on Wednesday 15min confirmed in his answer to the member of the Seimas that military transit took place only by rail and since 2015 only when transporting fuel.

“Because the mechanism for adopting a solution to the issue of EU sanctions against Russia was not fast, after returning from Kyiv in the second half of March, I instructed to assess the consequences of the termination of military transit and, finally, not to issue permits for military transit (which, as I mentioned, was transporting fuel) by rail through the territory of Lithuania, to the Movement Control Center of the Lithuanian Army . Since then, on March 28, no one-time permits, according to the 1993 November 18 The Movement Control Center of the Lithuanian Army did not issue the agreement between the governments of the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Federation on transit military transports”, – 15min reported A. Anušauskas.

“Each year, 400-500 tankers passed through. I would not say how many of them were full, because there was also a movement of empty tanks back and forth. That’s why I won’t say how much there is specifically,” the minister told reporters later on Wednesday, quoted by BNS.

According to the minister, among the fuels, for example, coal was transported, which could have been used “for the boiler rooms of some units”.

Vidmantas Balkūnas / 15min photo/Ministers of the Ministry of the Interior of the Schengen Area visited the railway station of Kena

Vidmantas Balkūnas / 15min photo/Ministers of the Ministry of the Interior of the Schengen Area visited the railway station of Kena

The minister specified that no Russian military goods were transported by road transport.

A. Anušauskas added that according to Lithuanian customs data from 2014 no military cargo was transported.

The Minister of National Defense confirmed that the transfer of fuel was stopped after consultation with “our strategic allies”.

“To sum up – understand, at that time, the great Western powers looked cautiously at any such initiatives, evaluated them more cautiously. But everything is still in our hands (…). Guidelines were simply passed on – no more permits,” said A. Anušauskas.

The Minister of National Defense denied R. Lopata’s claims that these data are secret. “This data is not classified or restricted,” he said.

I.Šimonytė: the railway is only intended for transporting passengers

in 2022 February 26 Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė emphasized that the rail transit from mainland Russia to the Kraliaučius region through Lithuania is intended only for transporting passengers.

“Military transit cannot take place anyway, roads must be used for that,” said I.Šimonytė at the time.

According to the EU-Russia agreement, the Kaliningrad transit program ensures simplified transit of persons from the territory of Russia to the region of Karalaučius and back through Lithuania. It has been operating since July 2003.

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