The Russian Foreign Ministry has responded to Lithuania’s partial blockade of Kaliningrad, writing in a statement that they consider the “provocative measures” to be “openly hostile” and warning that the Kremlin may take action to “protect its national interests.”
Kaliningrad is sandwiched between the EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania. Supplies from Russia are delivered via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania – which announced last week that it was banning the rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions, which include coal, advanced technology, metals and construction materials.
“If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests,” the statement reads.
They have demanded that Lithuania immediately lift the ban on a number of goods to the Kaliningrad region.
Earlier Monday, the Kremlin called Lithuania’s announcement “unprecedented” and “in violation of everything there is.”
“The situation is more than serious and it requires a very deep analysis before formulating any measures and decisions,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in a statement to the press.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said they were simply complying with sanctions imposed by the EU, and that they were taken after “consultation with the European Commission and under its guidelines.”
“Sanctioned goods (will) no longer be allowed to transit Lithuanian territory,” he added.
Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov says that the ban, which was confirmed on Friday, affects roughly 50% of all imports. He urged citizens not to panic-buy…
…to no avail.
PANIC SHOPPING IN KALININGRAD pic.twitter.com/WYzZ5Ww9BX
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) June 20, 2022
Here is the issue, Lithuania is blocking significant Russian rail transport to Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is a city-state owned by Russia since WWII, population about 800,000.
h/t The Don Of Nantucket
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