Truck lines still forming on the border

Take note – story published 9 years and 5 months ago

Lines of trucks waiting to cross to Russia from Latvia grew in length Wednesday as a result of raised tensions between Russia and Lithuania.

According to the latest information supplied by the Border Guard, at Wednesday lunchtime 330 trucks were waiting at the Terehova border control point and facing average waits of 30 hours to cross into Russia.

Numbers peaked in the early hours of Wednesday morning at 390 trucks.

Another 45 trucks were waiting at the Grebneva crossing, down from 80 earlier in the day but still presenting truckers with the prospect of a 14-hour delay.

A few years ago, lines of trucks stretching for up to 40 kilometers 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.

Speaking on independent LNT television Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said that as the dispute was between Russia and Lithuania, there was little Latvia could do to alleviate the situation.

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