Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 45

In the runup to an official visit to Lithuania, Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski has ruled out any possibility of a transit corridor for Russia and Belarus to Koenigsberg/Kaliningrad across northeastern Poland. Kwasniewski cited primarily technical and environmental considerations. Lithuania’s state secretary for foreign affairs Albinas Januskas similarly ruled out in advance an expected Russian-Belarus proposal for building a highway from the Belarus city of Horadnia/Grodno to Koenigsberg across Lithuania. Januskas additionally argued that the highway may divert cargoes from Lithuania’s port Klaipeda, which successfully handles Russian and Belarus trade flows. Undaunted, Russian diplomats insisted that Moscow would "pay well" for construction and use of either highway and that Moscow would submit detailed proposals to Poland and Lithuania separately. (16) Russian president Boris Yeltsin launched the idea of the transit corridor at his meeting with Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko in Moscow last week. Poland’s Foreign Ministry promptly objected to any corridor through Poland. The proposed highway is meant to facilitate Russia’s access to its heavily militarized Baltic exclave. Overland access is currently regulated by Russian-Lithuanian agreements.

Moldovan Presidential Aide Defends Military Pact with Russia.