News2023.03.09 17:48

Russian ship, private plane denied entry to Lithuania

Last week, Lithuania did not allow a drifting Russian-owned ship into the seaport of Klaipėda, as well as denied entry to a private plane chartered by a dual Russian-Israeli citizen, authorities said on Thursday.

“Last weekend, we had a Russian drifting ship that we could not allow to enter the port of Klaipeda,” Transport Minister Marius Skuodis told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence (NSGK).

“Last week, a person also tried to fly into Lithuania on a plane, but it was not allowed into Lithuanian airspace,” he added.

The minister made no further comment on the incidents, saying he did not know the details.

The Klaipėda Port authority said that the Belizean-flagged dredger Bystraya, which is subject to sanctions, had made several attempts to sail into the port but was refused entry and left for the port in Russia’s Kaliningrad.

“The port was informed twice in February that the dredger was coming to Klaipėda for short-term repairs and refuelling, and the next time, for maintenance and operation work,” the authority said in a statement.

“The ship also tried to enter the port in early March, requesting a port of refuge in stormy weather,” it added.

The dredger Bystraya is on the European Maritime Safety Agency’s list of sanctioned ships.

The Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration (LTSA) told BNS that a person with dual Israeli and Russian citizenship and a temporary residence permit in Lithuania attempted to fly from Israel to Lithuania last week on a privately chartered Embraer EMB-135BJ aircraft. The person presented their Israeli passport.

“LTSA’s investigation carried out eight months ago revealed that the person holds Russian citizenship. Knowing this fact, we did not grant an exception and permission for their chartered aircraft to enter Lithuania,” it said.

According to LTSA, the person can fly to Lithuania and other EU countries as a regular airline passenger.

Several cases of Russian citizens attempting to enter Lithuania on private planes have been recorded so far, it noted.

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