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    RUSSIA ANNUALLY LOSES $200 MILLION WHEN TRANSPORTING CARGO FROM KALININGRAD VIA LITHUANIA

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 15, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT NATALYA BYRKINA). The losses of Russian companies from the transit of cargoes from Kaliningrad via Lithuania make up six billion roubles a year (about $208 million), deputy minister of economic development and trade Maxim Medvedkov told journalists. The Kaliningrad, situated on the Baltic Sea coast, is Russia's westernmost region which was cut off from it after the disintegration of the USSR.

    According to Medvedkov, these losses are explained by the fact that customs procedures with Lithuania and the European Union have not been settled yet.

    On January 15, the delegation of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry will fly to Vilnius to discuss these issues, the deputy minister reported.

    He believes that the problem may be solved when the cargo transit will be simplified and when the European Union will recognize the Russian customs declaration.

    According to Medvedkov, it is also necessary to solve the questions concerning the insurance dues for the veterinary control, which the Russian transportation men should pay when moving through the Lithuanian territory in accordance with the EU rules. The point at issue is considerable sums, Medvedkov stressed.

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