Friday, March 1

Russia threatens Lithuania with retaliation for blocking Kaliningrad

New episode of tension between Russia and the European Union, this time on account of the Russian province of Kaliningrad. The territory belonging to Russiabut located between Lithuania Y Poland –both members of the EU and NATO – has suffered a trade block under the sanctions imposed on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine, in such a way that the products do not arrive as they cannot cross Lithuanian territory. The russian outrage has been forceful, to the point of threatening the Baltic country with “serious consequences”.

Kaliningrad it is a Russian enclave that is separated from the rest of the country and borders two EU and NATO countries. Prussian city known as Königsberg, the Soviet Union conquered it in 1945, when it defeated Nazi Germany. Kaliningrad was one of the main foundations soviet naval of Baltic SeaWith Riga and the kronstadt island. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the lithuanian independence in 1991the territory was under russian sovereignty Y separated from the rest of Russia.

As a consequence of the sanctions against Russia, Lithuania is applying restrictions the transit of certain products to the russian territory. Specifically, the Governor of Kaliningrad Anton Alikhanov, has estimated that between 40% and 50% of the enclave’s imports could be subject to restrictions, from coal to metals, through construction materials and technological goods. The transit of passengers and goods not subject to EU sanctions is not affected.

“Serious negative consequences”

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitari Peskovdescribed Lithuania’s decision on Monday as “illegal” because, according to Moscow, it violates bothl Collaboration and Cooperation Agreement from 1994 as the Joint declaration of 2002 on the transit Come in Kaliningrad and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation. Moscow has denounced the implementation of “hostile restrictions” and has considered that Lithuania’s decision is unprecedented.

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“Russia, of course, will react to these hostile acts. Appropriate measures are being worked out at the interministerial level and will be adopted shortly,” Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said during a visit to Kaliningrad. “They will have serious negative consequences for the population of Lithuania,” he added. In parallel, Russia called on Tuesday for consultations at EU Ambassador to Moscow, Markus Edererto then demand that the transit of goods, suspended since Saturday, be restored “immediately”.

The spokesman for the Russian Security Council, Evgueni Anoshin, Patrushev has already discussed with the Kaliningrad authorities the “problems of accessibility of transport” to this region.

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In addition, it has addressed the measures to “guarantee the uninterrupted operation of the Kaliningrad energy system, and the problems related to the maintenance of the submarine fiber optic line that links this region” with other areas of the country, as well as guaranteeing telephone services mobile and access to Russian radio.

The European Commission (EC) has defended Lithuania’s decision to partially block the transport of Russian goods crossing its territory. “Lithuania is basically doing what it is supposed to do under the sanctions regime,” said the chief spokesman for the Community Executive, Eric Mamer. “You have to keep in mind that sanctions include the transit of goods through EU countries,” added Daniel Ferrie, another Commission spokesman. A position supported by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergisarguing that “it is not a decision of Lithuania, but simply the implementation of what was agreed by the EU”.

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