'No special easing' of requirements for football fans traveling to Russia via Lithuania
Lithuanian officials say that there will be "no special easing" of requirements for football fans who will travel via Lithuania to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad for 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.
Lithuanian and Russian officials met in Pagėgiai, a town on the border with the Russian region, on Wednesday to discuss border crossing issues.
"There will be no special easing of the requirements for crossing the territory of the Republic of Lithuania either for Russian nationals or third-country nationals," Gintautas Vasiulis, ambassador at large at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Pagėgiai.
While Lithuania cannot relax the requirements for football fans as to the necessary documents, it can use organizational means to facilitate the border crossing, he added.
The meeting in Pagėgiai focused on organizing the work of border checkpoints between Lithuania and Kaliningrad.
Russia plans to introduce the so-called reverse traffic in these sections, which means that the flow of passengers would only be able to cross the border in one direction.
Russia also plans to restrict truck traffic and to deploy more officers at the border on the days of World Cup matches.
Kaliningrad will host four group stage matches -- Croatia vs Nigeria, Serbia vs Switzerland, Spain vs Morocco, and England vs Belgium -- between June 16 and 28.
Lithuanian officials are mostly concerned about Moroccan and Nigerian citizens, who will need Schengen visas to cross Lithuania's territory.