Russian Government has said that the restrictions on the transit of cargo via Lithuania to and from the Kaliningrad region violated international agreements and demanded that Lithuania lift the ban. Lithuania replied that it did not impose unilateral agreements and that the ban was part of the EU sanctions. Interfax Russia reported that Lithuanian Prime Minister Ms Ingrida Simonyte said that Lithuania does not interpret the European Union's sanctions on Russia in any way and has not imposed a blockade on the Kaliningrad region. Ms Simonyte told journalists “No blockade of Kaliningrad is taking place. It's just that sanctions have been applied to some goods included in the so-called sanction package since last weekend, particularly steel and ferrous metals and railway clients or contractual parties have been informed of these sanctions and made aware that they cannot be transshipped and transported. All other goods that are not under sanctions, as well as passenger transit for which there is a special agreement between the European Union, Russia, and Lithuania, are being transported.” Ms Simonyte added “There were situations in that period when, say, due to certain restrictions applied to banks, Russia was unable to pay for the transportation of passengers, which would have formally been a reason for severing the contract. And yet transportation continued, we continued to follow the contract, and financial institutions were found through which payments were made and debts settled.” Kremlin’s Security Council Secretary Mr Nikolai Patrushev has visited the Kaliningrad region and vowed during a national security meeting to take action over the ban. Mr Patrushev said “Russia will definitely respond to such hostile actions. The relevant measures are being drawn up in an interagency format and will be adopted shortly. Their consequences will have a significant negative impact on the population of Lithuania.” Separately, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the European Union Ambassador to Russia M Markus Ederer and expressed a resolute protest over the transit ban. The ministry demanded an immediate resumption of the normal operation of the transit, otherwise retaliatory measures will follow.” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Mr Gabrielius Landsbergis had said before a European Union ministerial meeting in Luxembourg “Firstly, these are not Lithuania's actions, these are European sanctions applied from 17 June. And the sanctions are currently applied by the railway company, which has informed its clients that the goods under the sanctions from 17 June, which are steel and other products manufactured of iron ore, won't be imported through Lithuania any longer. This is being done in consultations with the European Commission and in line with its decisions.” The transit ban was announced back in mid-March as part of the fourth package of the EU sanctions. The EU sanctions adopted on March 15 imposed restrictions on Russian steel and other ferrous metal products under contracts concluded before 17 June and they cannot be transported across EU territory after that date. The same ban will take effect with regard to cement, alcohol, and some other products on 10 July, with regard to coal and other solid fossil fuels on August 10, and Russian oil on 5 December. Preliminary estimates show that the ban affects 40% to 50% of all transit cargo, including construction materials, cement, metals, and other important commodities Kaliningrad, home to some 430,000 people, is isolated from the rest of Russia and borders EU members Lithuania and Poland. Trains with goods for Kaliningrad travel via Belarus and Lithuania; there’s no transit through Poland. Russia can still supply the exclave by sea without falling foul of EU sanctions.