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Moscow 'Surprised' by Lithuanian Stance on Border Issue

Tightened checks on freight traffic has resulted in long delays at the Russian-Lithuanian border. jo.sau

Moscow is surprised by Lithuania's approach to the problems brewing on the border between the two countries and believes that any issues should be resolved in a practical manner, a top Russian official said Friday.

The Baltic state has accused Russia of trying to pressure it into ditching attempts to negotiate closer trade links with the European Union by holding Lithuanian trucks on the border for up to 20 days at a time and blocking some of their exports.

Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania's Foreign Minister, said Tuesday that they could to close border crossings into the Kaliningrad region, Russia's western enclave on the Baltic Sea, but added that no such discussions had been held.

"We are surprised that the Lithuanian authorities … are looking for a political background instead of building practical cooperation with the relevant Russian organizations," deputy foreign minister Vladimir Titov.

Titov said that speculation about Lithuania responding with border restrictions is an attempt to create the impression that it is the "victim of some imaginary outside pressure" and accused Lithuanian carriers of violating customs rules more and more often, Interfax reported.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Thursday advised its citizens against traveling to the Kaliningrad region due to expected delays on the border.

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