Truck lines reappear at the border

Take note – story published 9 years ago

The blight of long lines of trucks waiting to cross the border from Latvia to Russia made an unwelcome seasonal reappearance in recent days in the wake of a political spat between Russia and Lithuania.

The Latvian State Revenue Service (VID), which works with the State Border Guard at border control points, issued a statement advising hauliers to try to avoid the Terehova and Grebņeva border posts if possible due to growing lines caused by detailed inspections of Lithuanian vehicles by Russian customs officials.

"According to information available, increased control measures on the Russian side are causing the formation of rows of goods vehicles and increasing the time required to cross the border," the VID statement said.

"So that car passengers do not have to spend time waiting in line at the border, the SRS and the State Border Guard is asking goods vehicles to choose other routes," the statement added.

According to the latest information supplied by the Border Guard, on Tuesday afternoon 290 trucks were waiting at the Terehova border control point and 45 at Grebneva.

However, lines have reduced slighty since the early hours of Monday morning when up to 380 trucks were waiting at Terehova and 70 at Grebneva.

All other border stations are operating without delays.

A few years ago, lines of trucks stretching for up to 40km were sometimes observed leading up to the Latvian-Russian border and the length of the line was generally a good indicator of the state of relations between the two countries: the longer the line, the worse the relationship.

In some cases, truckers were forced to wait for more than a week to cross the border by which time some cargoes had spoiled and border communities experienced problems caused by the temporary trucking camps lining the roadside.

The last couple of years had seen the situation seemingly brought under control. But a sudden worsening of relations between Lithuania and Russia following comments by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite that Russia was a "terrorist state" have seen the hundreds of Lithuanian trucks which cross Latvia daily subjected to rigorous examinations by Russian border guards which have in turn meant delays for other road users too.

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