Lithuania strengthens control over cargo trains with X-ray installation at border station

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Lithuania has decided Thursday to strengthen control over cargo trains entering the country and to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad by installing an X-ray scanning system at the Kenna station on the border with Belarus.

The mechanism, designed to operate 24 hours a day, scans trains going in both directions at speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour in automatic mode, allowing all goods to be checked with an average of eight to nine trains per day.

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According to Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste, the main purpose of installing a new control system is to prevent smuggling, as well as to protect the country’s national security interests.

For his part, the director general of the customs department, Darius Zvironas, has assured that “the new X-ray control system will not only facilitate the work of customs officials, but will also save money.”

The Ministry of Finance has put the cost of the project at 5.6 million, which has been promoted “due to the changed geopolitical situation,” as highlighted by Karolis Sankovski, the CEO of the company that won the tender, LTG Infra.

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European Union sanctions on the transport of steel and ferrous metals through Lithuania to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea have been in force since June 17. It should also be recalled that from July 10 restrictions were also imposed on the transit of cement, alcohol, luxury goods, and from August 10, on coal and other solid fossil fuels.

As a consequence of the initiation of these sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the head of the Lithuanian diplomatic mission, Virginia Umbrasene, in protest against this decision and demanded “immediate” lifting of these restrictions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added to the criticism and said that Vilnius’ decision was “unprecedented,” as these “provocative measures” violate international agreements.

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