Interfax Russia reported that the ban on the railway transit of steel & ferrous metal products between Russia proper and the Kaliningrad region via Lithuania is not a decision made by Vilnius but was part of the European Union's sanctions on Russia. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Mr Gabrielius Landsbergis 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 commoditiesLand transit between the Kaliningrad region and other regions of Russia has not been stopped or blocked. Transit of passengers and cargo that are not under the EU sanctions is continuing. Lithuania has not imposed any unilateral, individual, or additional restrictions on this transit.