A month ago, Lithuania tightened restrictions on grain imports from Russia and Belarus. These restrictions have almost stopped the import of grain cargoes from Russia to Lithuania, but its transit to other EU countries has increased significantly.

The State Food and Veterinary Service of Lithuania published the relevant data, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax news agency.

According to the agency, since 18 March, Lithuania has been checking every wagon or vehicle transporting grain from Russia and Belarus to determine the origin of the grain and whether there are any prohibited impurities in grain consignments destined for the EU market.

"Since 18 March, we have seen a 95% reduction in imports from Russia and Belarus into Lithuania, but we have also seen (an increase) in imports into Lithuania for re-export to other EU countries," said Audrone Mikalauskienė, director of the State Food and Veterinary Service.

According to her, 184 consignments of grain were transported through Lithuania to markets in Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and other EU countries from 1 January to 18 March this year while 317 consignments were transported through the country from 18 March to 16 April. Last week alone, 25 grain consignments destined for the German market were transported through the port of Klaipeda.

As the CFTS portal reported, neighboring Poland imported goods worth USD 2.6 billion from Russia and goods worth USD 450 million from Belarus in 2023. Imports of agricultural products from Russia to Poland reached USD 117 million, exceeding the figure for 2021.

In March 2024, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and the Czech Republic asked the European Commission to ban grain imports from Russia and Belarus to the European Union. Lithuania initiated this request by the agriculture ministers of these countries.