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Lithuania Satisfied With Talks With Russia On Rocket Fuel Transit

The transit of expired rocket fuel components from Russia's Kaliningrad region via Lithuania may begin in November or December, Valerijus Ponomariovas, Lithuanian deputy railway minister and head of the Lithuanian government's working group on the matter, told Interfax on Friday.

He described the Thursday consultations between Lithuanian and Russian expert groups on the transit of 1,200 tonnes of fuel components as successful.

"If the Russian side settles the remaining problems shortly and answers the questions that interest us, component transit may begin approximately in November or December," Ponomariovas said.

He said Russia has not fully decided on questions of insurance against accidents or other unforeseen circumstances.

"We don't quite understand why the Russian side has reduced the amount of the rocket fuel by half - what will happen to the second half of the hazardous cargo, whether it has been used or withdrawn. It is desirable to have the question settled so as not to return to it," Ponomariovas said.

(Interfax 26.ix.03)

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