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The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry handed a note to the representative of the Russian embassy because of the statement of attorney Sergei Ryabokon. He suggested asking the Lithuanians if they think that “their own people shot at their own people” during the assault on the TV center in Vilnius
In Lithuania, the construction of a fence on the border with Belarus with a length of about 502 km has been completed. Its construction began in the summer of 2021 to protect against illegal migration
Lithuania has completed the construction of a wall on the border with Belarus. This was reported by the company — project implementer EPSO-G in conversation with BNS.
“This weekend, a team of contractors formed by EPSO-G installed the last planned fencing segments on the border with Belarus”,— said Antanas Bubnelis, the company's communications manager (quote from LRT).
The fence and barbed wire have been installed over a total length of about 502km.
Now maintenance specialists are fixing minor defects in the erected wall. Roads and construction sites are also being restored, project documentation is being brought into line.
Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte said that a special commission confirmed the completion of construction, only work with organizational documents remained. Although the wall almost completely closes the border with Belarus (its total length is 679 km, of which more than 100 km of the border runs along the banks of rivers and lakes), Simonyte admitted that the barrier is not “something that can completely protect the state from illegal migration”; .
Simonite announced her intention to build a wall on the border last summer, the reason was the influx of refugees from the Middle East from Belarus. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier that in response to European sanctions due to the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk, his country would no longer help the EU in the fight against illegal migration. After that, the number of citizens of the countries of the Middle East, who sought to enter the EU through Belarusian territory, has increased dramatically. The situation on the border of Belarus with the EU escalated in November. After several days of clashes and subsequent negotiations between Lukashenko and Angela Merkel, who was then Chancellor of Germany, the migrants left the border camps.
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Latvia and Poland also decided to fence themselves off from Belarus. Warsaw at the end of June announced that it had completed the construction of a wall 5m high and 186km long— a little less than half of the length of the Polish-Belarusian border.
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Those who have already tried to circumvent sanctions will be assessed by the Lithuanian customs as high-risk subjects and will be checked especially carefully – “under a magnifying glass”
Lithuanian customs has tightened inspection procedures to control the implementation of EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus. This was reported on the website of the service.
The customs service specified that for these purposes additional analytical resources will be used and physical control will be strengthened. The number of customs officers on inspection will also be increased, and, if necessary, employees of other state bodies of Lithuania will be involved.
Consignors, consignees, carriers or customs brokers who have already tried to circumvent sanctions will be assessed as high-risk entities and checked especially carefully.
“We see that attempts to circumvent sanctions are not decreasing, so we are taking additional measures. Those customs customers who have been denied further customs procedures because of attempts to circumvent sanctions should not be surprised if the goods they transport in the future will be under a magnifying glass, — Darius Zvironas, Director General of the Lithuanian Customs Department, said.
In July, the Lithuanian authorities, citing EU sanctions, restricted rail transit of sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region. Building materials, metal, wood, cement, fertilizers, alcohol and other goods were banned.
Russia called this decision unprecedented and illegal and promised retaliatory measures. After criticism from the Russian authorities, the European Commission clarified the sanctions. Thus, road transit to Kaliningrad remains banned, while rail transit is possible under “effective control”.
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According to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, the European Commission also introduced quotas for the transit of sanctioned goods. The head of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, said on August 9 that the region had exhausted quotas for some of the products.
In mid-August, on August 15, the Lithuanian Siauliai Bank, which made payments as part of the transit service to Kaliningrad, stopped accepting transactions in rubles. Moreover, the bank announced plans to stop making payments to Russia and Belarus in any currency from September.
The Kremlin expressed the hope that the problems that may arise during transit can be solve with dialogue. If Russia stumbles upon a “blank wall of misunderstanding”, “other measures” will be required, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted back in July.
Later, the authorities of the Kaliningrad region announced that the option of paying for the transit of goods to the region, alternative to the Lithuanian bank “Shaul”, found. However, they did not specify the details of the payment scheme.
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In Lithuania, a man was sentenced to a fine and restriction of freedom for discrimination against Russians A resident of Lithuania called for violence against Russians on a national basis on the Internet, he was fined and sent to a behavior correction program. The prime minister of Lithuania and the mayor of Vilnius urged not to insult Russians because of Ukraine (max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Courthouse in Tauragė
Vytautas M., a resident of the Lithuanian city of Taurage, was sentenced by a court to four months of restraint of liberty, a fine of €500 and a behavior correction program for “public discrimination against Russians” ;, reports the Delfi portal.
The man “singled them out on a national basis, called for violence against these people, and also mocked the Russians, caused hatred for them,” the court concluded.
The reason for initiating a case against the man was a comment to publications with a quote from the President of the Republic Gitanas Nauseda on Facebook (Meta, the owner of the social network, is recognized as extremist and banned in Russia). Nauseda, after the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine, assured that the authorities were making efforts to “end Russia's adventure.” The man in the comments under the publication called for violence against the Russians.
The convict pleaded guilty and expressed regret because of the comment left. Vytautas M. explained that he made such a comment because of what is happening in Ukraine, but assured that he would not have done such a thing in relation to the Russians. He said: “I'm not against the Russians in general, the Russians in general are not to blame for what is happening in Ukraine.”
The court concluded that Vytautas M. intended to carry out the threats, but the confession of guilt and the expression of regret became mitigating factors. An aggravating circumstance was that Vytautas M. had previously been convicted four times;According to the census conducted at the end of last year, 2.81 million people live in Lithuania, of which 5% identified themselves as Russians (140.5 thousand). At the same time, Russians occupy a significant proportion of the population in large cities: in the city of Visaginas (51.9%), located on the Baltic Sea, in the city of Klaipeda (19.6%) and the capital— Vilnius (11.9%), according to the Lithuanian General Encyclopedia.
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Lithuania condemned Russia's decision to send troops to Ukraine, the republic, along with other members of the European Union, imposed sanctions against official Moscow. The mayor of Vilnius, Remigius Simasius, at the same time called for not insulting the Russian-speaking residents of Lithuania and other countries, emphasizing that “the Russian regime is the aggressor, and not they.” He called the aggression against Russian-speakers “bombs of the information war”.
“Anyone who offends Russian-speakers in Lithuania (whether Lithuanian, Belarusian, Russian or Ukrainian), — scoundrel. Anyone who sees these insults and doesn't stop them, — coward»,— said the mayor of Vilnius.
Šimašius also noted that the decision to sever ties with Russian and Belarusian partner cities of the Lithuanian capital is not an action against the Russians, but “against the regime.” He added that, at the same time, “their silence allows this crazy war to be waged.”
A similar opinion was expressed by the Prime Minister of the Republic, Ingrida Simonyte, who called the Russians and Belarusians living in the country Lithuanian patriots. “We would not want to see reproaches against our fellow citizens in attempts to shift the burden of the crimes of V. Putin and A. Lukashenko onto them solely because of their nationality,” & mdash; she said.
At the same time, the Latvian government is calling for the abolition of Schengen visas issued to Russians and Belarusians at the pan-European level, such a measure was proposed by Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. He explained that if you simply stop issuing visas to residents of Russia and Belarus, this will not solve the problem. “A significant number of tourists will still have the opportunity to enjoy the European lifestyle, which, according to the authorities of Russia and Belarus, should be despised and even fought against,” — said the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anushauskas later considered the all-European consensus on this issue unpromising. The European Commission pointed out that such a restriction does not comply with the EU Visa Code, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Russia's actions in Ukraine “Putin's war, not the Russian people”, and therefore a ban should not be introduced on behalf of the entire EU.
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The contractor has already held a consultation on the method of dismantling the memorial to Soviet soldiers and declared its readiness to carry out the work. The City Council will decide on the demolition of the sculptures on September 14 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Memorial at the Antakalnis cemetery
The memorial on the site of the largest burial place in Lithuania of Soviet soldiers who fell in the Great Patriotic War at the Antakalnis cemetery will be dismantled in September. This was reported by BNS with reference to the Vilnius municipality.
Now the city council is preparing a resolution to transfer the statues to the city's property. “After the adoption of the resolution and the translation of the sculptures, they will be promptly dismantled,” — says the message (quoted from LRT).
Grinda, the utility contractor, has already consulted on how to dismantle them and expressed readiness to carry out the work.
“The City Council meeting is scheduled for September 14,”— indicated by the municipality.
The war memorial at the Antakalnis cemetery was erected in 1951. More than 3,000 soldiers of the Red Army, including Lithuanians, who died in 1944 during the liberation of Vilnius, were buried on the site. In 1984, six granite steles were installed— figures depicting fighters.
In June of this year, the Lithuanian Department of Cultural Heritage removed the steles from the protection regime. Then the mayor of Vilnius, Remigius Simasius, said that further actions regarding these statues would depend on when the documentation would be “put in order” and the city council would announce its decision. “I hope that by the end of the summer they will not be left,” — he added.
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In Estonia, in early August, the Narva authorities decided to move the T-34 monument, located on the left bank of the river and marking the place where the Soviet troops crossed the river, in order to push the German troops back from the city.
August 16, the T-34 tank was removed from the pedestal to be sent to the Estonian War Museum.
Explaining the need to demolish the monument, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that after February 24, military monuments of the USSR in the public space of Estonia “ceased to be only a local problem” ;.
Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Ivan Nechaev said that Moscow sent a note of protest to the Estonian Foreign Ministry because of the dismantling of the T-34 monument in Narva.
He called the dismantling the monument was a “shameful action”, since the entire process was controlled by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, special forces and units of the defense forces were involved.
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Lithuanian Foreign Minister Landsbergis called on the EU to cancel long-term visas issued to Russians Even if the EU bans the issuance of new visas, Russians already have a large number of long-term visas in their hands, Lithuania said, calling for the cancellation of issued permits. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that they would not leave the sanctions unanswered
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The European Union must immediately cancel Schengen visas already issued to Russians and Belarusians, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in his column for Politico.
Even if the EU stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists, he said, the ban would not solve the problem, as Russians already had “large numbers” of multiple entry visas for a period of three years or more. “This means that even without the issuance of new visas, a significant number of tourists will still have the opportunity to enjoy the European lifestyle, which, according to the authorities of Russia and Belarus, should be despised and even fought against,” & mdash; said Landsbergis.
In this regard, the countries of the European Union must find a joint and effective solution that will make the visa ban “as effective as possible,” he continued. “And that decision must include an immediate, clear no.” Russian and Belarusian tourists, canceling already issued long-term multiple-entry visas at least until the end [of hostilities in Ukraine] and continuing to receive those who seek asylum, not vacations in Europe, — the minister wrote.
Lithuania, along with Latvia and Estonia, advocated a ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians. Actively discussing this measure in the EU began after Russia opened the land borders that it has, including with the Baltic countries and Finland. After that, these states said that Russian tourists use them as a transit point for trips around Europe. From there, the Russians can fly to other EU countries, while this cannot be done from Russia: since the end of February, in response to a special operation in Ukraine, the European Union has closed the sky for Russian aircraft.
The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that if the EU or its individual countries ban the issuance of visas to Russians, Moscow will respond to this. In turn, Tatyana Moskalkova, Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, noted that such a ban by the European Union would grossly violate the fundamental principle of freedom of movement, enshrined in universal and regional international legal acts. And calls for such measures— these are “manifestations of nationalism and discrimination,” she said.
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The initiative to stop accepting payments for transit in rubles comes from the Lithuanian authorities, and not from Siauliai Bank, Ryabokon believes. In the Kaliningrad region, it was admitted that transit could go by sea -width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Moscow calls on Vilnius to stop playing games on the issue of transit to Kaliningrad and behave “like an adult”, said on the air of the Rossiya 24 TV channel Charge d'Affaires of Russia in Lithuania Sergei Ryabokon, commenting on the situation around Siauliai Bank.
He recalled that initially Lithuania stated that the responsibility for settlements for the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region through the republic lies only with banks and that the state cannot oblige them to accept payments. However, now, according to the temporary attorney, the bank is “knocking” to the authorities of the republic, so that “they explain how to behave.”
“Therefore, of course, they called on them then and [we call] now to behave like an adult. Do not engage in different notions,»,— said Ryabokon.
In his opinion, the key role in preventing such situations can be played by the European Union, which can influence decisions taken by Lithuania. “So that there are no such games, the European Union can have its say, in which Lithuania stands with outstretched hand in order to receive another tranche for its Russophobia,” — said the temporary attorney.
Earlier, on August 15, the Lithuanian Siauliai Bank, which made payments as part of the transit service to Kaliningrad, stopped operations in rubles. From September, the bank will stop making payments to Russia and Belarus in any currency.
The Kremlin expressed the hope that the problems that may arise during transit can be resolved through dialogue. If Russia stumbles upon a “blank wall of misunderstanding”, “other measures” will be required, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov noted back in July.
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Thus, the authorities of the Kaliningrad region admitted that if Lithuania does not decide on payments for rail transit to the Kaliningrad region, it will go by sea, RIA Novosti reports. “We hope that the Lithuanian authorities will come to their senses and understand that this is economic suicide,” — Dmitry Lyskov, head of the press service of the regional government, said.
In July, Lithuania restricted rail transit of sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region. The Russian authorities called this decision illegal and promised retaliatory measures. Subsequently, the European Commission clarified the sanctions, allowing transit by rail, but under its control. In addition, it has set limits on the transit of sanctioned goods, said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. On August 9, the head of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, announced that the region had exhausted quotas for some products.
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The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry believes that restrictions on entry into the EU for Russians will be more effective if they are introduced at the community level. In Germany, they doubted this possibility, the European Commission noted that such a ban is not provided for by the rules type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Lithuania appreciates Estonia's decision to ban Russians who have Estonian Schengen visas from entering the country, but believes that the measure would be more effective if it were introduced throughout the European Union. The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BNS about this.
Lithuania “takes the position that restrictions work more effectively if they are applied at the EU level,” the ministry said.
The need to make a decision to stop issuing Schengen tourist visas to Russian citizens at the level of the European Union was also announced by Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, reports Delfi. A few weeks ago, this proposal was voiced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country, Edgars Rinkevics.
The Czech Republic is also in favor of a ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens at the EU level. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said that he intends to discuss this issue at a meeting of the heads of foreign affairs departments of the countries of the association at the end of August.
After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, all these countries, as well as the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Slovakia, limited or stopped issuing certain types of entry documents for Russians. For example, the Czech Republic refused to issue visas and residence permits to Russians until the end of March 2023, making an exception for trips for humanitarian purposes.
On August 11, Estonia announced that it would close its borders to Russian citizens with Estonia-issued Schengen visas in a week, with a few exceptions, such as diplomats, EU free-travelers and those with relatives in the country. On the same day, the Saeima of Latvia recognized Russia as a sponsor of terrorism and called on EU countries to stop issuing Schengen tourist visas to Russians and Belarusians.
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz doubts that the European Union will completely stop issuing visas to Russian citizens. The European Commission emphasizes that the EU visa code does not provide for a complete ban on the issuance of short-term visas, including to Russians. There are categories of persons to whom they need to be issued, for example, family members, journalists, dissidents, the EC points out. At the same time, the countries of the union can independently make decisions regarding a particular visa application.
The fact that Western countries should ban all Russians from entering their territory was stated by the President of Ukraine in an interview with The Washington Post in early August Vladimir Zelensky. He said at the time that states should force all Russians to return to Russia and “live in their own world until [they] change their philosophy,” calling it “the only way to influence Putin.” and stop the fighting. The day before, in his nightly video message, Zelensky clarified that the call for visa restrictions does not apply to Russians who are persecuted at home, offering to give them refugee status.
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Lithuanian railways may continue to transit coal to Kaliningrad, despite the sanctions, however, subject to restrictions, the EC decided. The Lithuanian railway operator estimated the share of refusal in the transit of goods from Russia at 5%
After the entry into force of the EU ban on the transportation of Russian coal and other solid fuels, from August 10, Lithuania, as an exception, is allowed to transit sanctioned products in limited quantities by rail. This is reported by the Lithuanian news agency Baltic News Service (BNS).
This interpretation of restrictive measures was presented by the European Commission, the agency writes. According to the “Lithuanian Railways” (Lietuvos geležinkėlių), in the first five months of this year, 1 million tons of coal were transported through Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region. The interpretation of the EC allows to reject 5% of applications for the transit of sanctioned goods, the company said.
“According to the procedure provided for in the EC directives, so far rejected applications for the transportation of goods between Russia and the Kaliningrad region through the territory of Lithuania were isolated cases and amounted to up to 5% of all applications for goods transported in this direction,” — company spokeswoman Kotrina Dzikaraite told BNS.
Russian shipments of sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region, separated from mainland Russia, were restricted by Lithuania in mid-June. Vilnius referred to the restrictive measures of the European Union, building materials, wood, metal, cement, alcohol, fertilizers and other products were banned.
The Russian authorities called the actions of Lithuania illegal, after criticizing Moscow in the European Union in mid-July, they clarified the conditions for restrictive measures. In Brussels, it was established that road transit to Kaliningrad remains prohibited, and transportation by rail is possible in the case of “effective control”. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry noted that the European Commission introduced quotas for the transit of sanctioned goods.
By early August, a number of limits on the transportation of such products had been exhausted, Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov said. He clarified that it was, in particular, about the transit of iron, steel, oil and oil products, fertilizers and timber.
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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced the possibility of introducing a simplified and quick admission to the citizenship of the republic of residents of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, RBC reports on its Telegram channel.
The Belarusian leader stressed that the authorities are quickly granting citizenship to displaced persons who arrived from the territory of Ukraine.
“It doesn’t get any faster. Because our president can accept citizenship. And I have documents on the table – there will be no delay. It will be the same for Lithuanians, Latvians and Poles,” the head of the Belarusian state shared the details.
As Lukashenka noted, specialists wishing to live and work in Belarus will be gladly accepted without red tape and delays, the authorities of the republic are ready for this.
Earlier, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said that the procedure for obtaining citizenship for Lithuanians, Latvians and Poles could be simplified.
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church is Putin's closest ally and one of the most active supporters of the “war against Ukraine.” Earlier, Lithuania also proposed to include the patriarch in the EU sanctions lists
Lithuania banned the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, from entering the country until June 23, 2027, 15min reports, citing a statement by the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Patriarch Kirill, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, is one of the most active supporters of the war against Ukraine, who has repeatedly spoken positively in public about the ongoing Russian aggression,” — The department said in a statement.
RBC sent a request to the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate and asked for a comment from the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media.
Patriarch Kirill, after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, touched upon the topic of hostilities in several of his sermons. He also stated that the peoples of Russia and Ukraine— a single whole that external forces are trying to separate. Also, according to him, Russia never attacked other countries, but “only defended its borders.”
After that, sanctions were imposed on him by Canada and the United Kingdom. At the same time, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church did not fall under EU sanctions. Lithuania proposed to include him in the sanctions list at the end of April, but it was not possible to agree on the measure: as Bloomberg reported, Hungary opposed it. infernal» and testify to the helplessness and fear of the EU.
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Medvedev named the reason for the EC's decision, which was “sick with diarrhea from fear.”
The Lithuanian Seimas reacted violently to the decision of the European Commission to allow transit to Kaliningrad. The initiator of the restrictive measures, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, was sharply criticized.
Oppositionists in the Seimas demand to punish the minister, and the decision of the EC is assessed as “wise” and insist on its indispensable execution.
In particular, Landsbergis, in their opinion, allowed “arbitrariness”. Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte did not officially comment on the decision of the European Commission. And Landsbergis himself said that he would comment later, as soon as he studied the text of the EC permit.
As Topnews wrote earlier, according to the decision of the EC, the transit of goods to Kaliningrad, with the exception of military ones, should be resumed.
Former Prime Minister of Lithuania, head of the party “In the name of Lithuania” Saulius Skvernelis believes that there are serious doubts about the competence of the head of the Foreign Ministry. Soon they intend to interrogate him, specifying how the negotiations with the EC were carried out and for what reason such a decision was made.
Skvernelis believes that Lithuania probably did not substantiate its position and spoiled the image as solid country. He called “one-sided” the work of the Foreign Minister, which “is intolerable”.
“Wise” the decision of the EC was also called by the ex-deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Giedrius Surplis, he called it “rational” and that “must be executed… as it is written”.
In general, he believes that not so many goods are transported through Lithuania to Kaliningrad, and the blockade will bring more harm to Lithuania than to Russia, according to him “ MK”.
In turn, Deputy Head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev in the TG channel said that “reluctant” EU decision – nothing more than a recognition “justice” Russia's requirements for transit “to OUR Kaliningrad region”.
He also called the decision of the EC “a rare case” the victory of reason over “cretinism and cave Russophobia” reigning in Europe”.
The second reason for such a decision, the politician called the fear of Europe to lose“favorable transit”. In his opinion, the EU is literally “sick with fear” economic losses.
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The minister who came up with the blockade of Kaliningrad is accused of arbitrariness
In the Lithuanian Seimas, a violent reaction immediately followed Moscow's victory in resolving the transit issue. Serious debriefing now seems to await the initiator of the “sanctions” – Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. The opposition demands to call on the carpet the minister who dared to arbitrarily announce sanctions against Russia and put the country in danger, and called the decision of the European Commission “wise” and subject to execution.
Gabrielius Landsbergis Photo: en.wikipedia.org
Recall that on Wednesday, July 13, the European Commission allowed Russia to transit goods to the Kaliningrad region, with the exception of goods intended for military purposes. This decision completely satisfied Moscow, and ordinary Lithuanian citizens, who described serious consequences due to the short-sightedness of politicians, breathed a sigh of relief.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Szymonyte, who takes an aggressive position towards Russia, decided to remain silent and refused comment on the decision of the European Commission.
Another politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis, seems to be in for a serious debriefing. The grandson of the well-known politician Vytautas Landsbergis only vaguely stated that he is now “studying” the text of the document provided by the European Commission:
– Comments later, said the young politician.
Meanwhile, former Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, head of the democratic party In the Name of Lithuania, said that after the transit story, doubts arose about the competence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and specifically its head, Gabrielius Landsbergis. Next week, the Democrats intend to call the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the carpet and ask him a number of questions – how were the negotiations with the European Commission going and why did it happen that it made a decision unfavorable for Lithuania. According to Skvernelis, Lithuania failed to substantiate its position on the transit of goods to Kaliningrad. In addition, a shadow was cast on the image of the country as a solid and responsible partner.
– The minister's work is carried out unilaterally. And this creates not only economic and international consequences for the whole country, but leaves us alone in the international arena. This is intolerable,” Skvernelis said.
Former Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture and former Deputy Interior Minister Giedrius Surplis supported the decision of the European Commission, calling it “rational” and “wise.”
– This decision could be expected. We are always glad that we are members of the European Union and NATO. This decision was made by the European Commission, so we must implement it. No need to snort that we have lost some sovereignty here – Kaliningrad transit has always remained under the jurisdiction of the European Commission. It is necessary to implement the decision as it is written, – said Surplis, noting that the decision of the European Commission is also in the hands of Lithuania's security.
The politician also added that the game was not worth the candle – not such a large amount of cargo is transported through Lithuania , the “blockade” of Kaliningrad itself does not cause much harm to Russia and is not comparable to the threats to Lithuania.
Lithuania had no illusions about Moscow, which is why it does not experience problems similar to Germany depending on energy resources from Russia, Nauseda said. He noted that now the leaders of Europe are faced with a “headache” alt=”The President of Lithuania called for a policy of “no illusions” towards Russia” />
Lithuania's policy towards Russia was more effective than that of many other European countries, since Vilnius had no illusions attitude towards Moscow, this is confirmed by the situation with gas supplies, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said in an interview with LRT.
“And so now, when, say, in Germany they are thinking about what to do in the coming cold season, whether it will be necessary to ration electricity or other energy resources, we clearly see that Lithuania has not only announced, but actually severed all energy ties with Russia and refuses to buy gas, and oil, and electricity, — listed Nauseda.
According to the President of Lithuania, realistic politics (realpolitik) has become a “big headache” for a number of Western countries, which proves the right direction of the path of Vilnius. According to him, now Europe should “get vaccinated from Russia” for a long time, so that there are no more politicians who, in a year and a half, would call for strengthening ties with Moscow. He emphasized: “It is extremely dangerous to follow these illusions, as history has bitterly taught us so many times.” , European leaders are contacting Vilnius, Nausėda continued. Several of them have already admitted: “You were right and your definition and assessment of the situation was the most accurate and realistic,” the Lithuanian President said.
Lithuania became the first EU state to refuse Russian gas supplies in April. The Lithuanian Ministry of Energy called this decision “a turning point”, Minister Dainius Kreivis noted that “this is the result of many years of consistent energy policy and timely infrastructure decisions.” Lithuania is fully self-sufficient in gas through the LNG terminal in Klaipeda, the ministry added.
In 2017, Lithuania was the first in the European Union to receive American LNG through this terminal. Lithuania stopped accepting Russian LNG through the port of Klaipeda in early March. “In the long term, Lithuania has only one reliable path to energy independence: it is the use of its resources, renewable sources, here the ministry makes every effort,” — said then Kreyvis.
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At the end of May, Lithuania also stopped receiving electricity from Russia. According to the transmission system operator Litgrid, Lithuania imported 17% of electricity from Russia, which accounted for 16% of its consumption.
At the end of June, the German authorities admitted that Russia could completely cut off gas supplies to “destroy unity” and “fomenting social unrest.” German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck noted that Berlin is trying to prevent the “blockage” of economy due to high gas prices, along with efforts to avoid the “big social problem”. He warned that in the event of a shortage of gas, a number of industries in Germany would suspend work. A number of regions may lose entire industrial complexes, residents will lose their jobs, Habek assessed the consequences of such a scenario.
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The “small country” continues to persist in the economic blockade of Kaliningrad
Russia has promised to respond to the EU and Lithuania on the economic blockade of Kaliningrad. The situation was discussed over the phone by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. According to the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, the response measures are already ready and will be used in the coming days. Lithuania is stubbornly unwilling to abandon its unfriendly sanctions policy. Since July 11, sanctions have come into force that Russia will not be able to transport a number of goods through the territory of Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region.
Photo: Global Look Press
The telephone conversation between Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin touched upon the most pressing topics of the day, among which, of course, was the blockade of Kaliningrad by Lithuania. Does this mean that Belarus will want to join forces with the Russian Federation in putting pressure on Lithuania?
“I think Belarus will not participate in this in any way,” says Andrey Suzdaltsev, a Russian political scientist, deputy dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, “but this is the right conversation, our transit to Kaliningrad starts from Belarusian territory and goes through Vilnius to Kaliningrad. The problem is that Lithuania does not depend on us in many ways: Diplomatic pressure is useless, political pressure too, military pressure is not considered. Today the governor of Kaliningrad insisted on stopping the transit of any goods through the territory of the Baltic States. But there are practically no such goods. Turn off the energy system – that could have been a topic of conversation with Lukashenka, as well as the fact that gas goes through Lithuania and Belarus to Kaliningrad. These are serious topics for conversation between the two presidents, but the conversation itself is preliminary.
Increasingly, there is talk that Russia may use Lithuania's deprivation of electricity as a retaliatory measure. Back in June, the head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky. reported that Lithuania could be cut off from the BRELL electric ring. This is a synchronous work of five countries, from the first letters of which the abbreviation comes – Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Back in 2001, these countries agreed with each other on the mutual exchange of electrical energy and support each other in case of accidents. Based on this, an agreement was born. However, over time, the Baltic countries wanted to become independent from the electricity of the Russian Federation, and in 2022 they entered into an agreement providing for the withdrawal from BRELL until 2025. In preparation for exiting the ring, the Baltic countries performed several test shutdowns of power lines with Russia and Belarus, but this led to a serious increase in prices in these countries, as imports of electricity from other countries increased. For example, from Poland and Sweden. The economic restrictions of Kaliningrad may accelerate the exit of the Baltics from the energy ring, ceasing its existence, but at the same time seriously hit energy prices in these countries.
Kaliningrad governor proposed banning trade between Russia and the Baltics ://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/1/23/756575309778231.jpg” alt=”Alikhanov denied Lithuania's expansion of transit bans to Kaliningrad” />
Lithuania did not expand the list of goods whose transit from Russia to Kaliningrad is prohibited, explained the governor of the Kaliningrad region Anton Alikhanov. According to him, on Monday a new stage of EU sanctions, which were adopted back in March, came into force. In December, according to him, at the next stage, restrictions on the transit of petroleum products will come into force.
“We insist on non-proliferation of restrictions on Kaliningrad transit in principle”,— he wrote.
He proposed retaliatory measures — a complete ban on the movement of goods between the Baltic republics and Russia, with the exception of transit to Kaliningrad.
The authorities of the Kaliningrad region as the “extreme” In response to the ban on the transit of goods through Lithuania, it was proposed to ban the import and export of any goods to and from Russia through the Baltic countries.
Since June 18, Lithuania has banned rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions to the Kaliningrad region. The Kremlin called the decision unprecedented and illegal. EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer, summoned to the Foreign Ministry, stressed that there was no question of a blockade and the transit of goods that were not under sanctions “works normally.”
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The Kremlin called this decision illegal. “The decision is truly unprecedented. This is a violation of everything and everything. We understand that this is due to the relevant decision of the European Union— extend the sanctions to transit. We also consider this illegal, & mdash; Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
On July 8, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that if the situation with transit to Kaliningrad is not resolved in the coming days, Moscow will take “tough measures” against Lithuania and the European Union.
According to the official representative of the department, Maria Zakharova, Moscow continues the dialogue with the European Commission and Vilnius, and they assured “that the issue should be resolved in the near future.” However, Russian economic operators are already suffering losses due to “illegal” restrictions that Lithuania has introduced “unilaterally,” said the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We will not wait indefinitely. Once again we warn that if the situation does not stabilize in the coming days, then Russia will take tough measures against Lithuania and the European Union, the preparation of which has already been completed,— Zakharova said, adding that “the solution to the problem has been too long.”
The Foreign Ministry also stated that tough retaliatory measures against Lithuania and the EU had already been developed.
July 11, Lithuania has expanded transit restrictions. Transportation of cement, wood, alcohol and alcohol-based industrial chemicals was banned.
The Kaliningrad governor stressed that such a response is extreme.
Governor of the Kaliningrad region Anton Alikhanov spoke about retaliatory measures against the Lithuanian authorities for the blockade of transit to Kaliningrad from the main territory of Russia.
Among the measures being worked out is a complete ban on the import or export of goods through the Baltic states to Russia.
Alikhanov stressed that such a retaliatory measure is extreme and will be applied, apparently, in the worst case scenario.
Moreover, the measure will affect the movement of goods towards the Baltics through the Russian Federation, “with the exception of Kaliningrad”.
This proposal was submitted today, July 5, but is not the only one. Nevertheless, the decision has not yet been made.
Earlier, Topnews wrote that the German government opposed the decision of the Lithuanian authorities to triple the blockade of Kaliningrad, which began in early April and continues to this day.
The decision there is called illegal, since transit is from Russia to Russia.
Russians are experiencing difficulties when buying tickets to the Kaliningrad region, now they can only be bought for dates from August 22. The problems are explained by pandemic restrictions not removed by Lithuania
Kaliningrad railway station
Russians cannot buy tickets for trains to the Kaliningrad region, now they are available only on August 22 and later. The problem was reported by the ticket agency “City Air Ticket Office”, Interfax reports.
“The shortage of tickets for trains between Kaliningrad, Moscow, St. Petersburg is observed with the beginning of the summer season. <…> So, today a train ticket from Moscow to Kaliningrad can be bought only on August 22. A reserved seat will cost about 5 thousand rubles, a coupe— 6 thousand rubles»,— reported in the agency.
They explained that the problem could be caused by the restrictions imposed by Lithuania during the pandemic and still not lifted. According to the rules, the number of passengers on trains should not exceed 250 people, no more than three trains per day can go to Kaliningrad and back. Passengers are not allowed to leave the carriages in Vilnius, the stop in the city has been declared technical.
“Interfax” also quotes the words of the representative of the “Federal Passenger Company” (FPK), which is a subsidiary of Russian Railways. “We ourselves have never artificially reduced traffic volumes. During the pandemic, this was strongly influenced by restrictions from the Republic of Lithuania, which have not yet been lifted, — explained in the press service of the FPC.
RBC turned to Russian Railways and the FPC for comments.
Now trains to Kaliningrad run from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Adler, in total there are three trains. Before the pandemic restrictions, four permanent trains and one additional seasonal train ran to Kaliningrad. There was no limit on the number of passengers.
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Also, you can get to the Russian exclave by planes, the Kaliningrad Khrabrovo airport receives several dozen flights a day from the main part of Russia.
Lithuania announced a ban from June 18 on the transit of sanctioned goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia through its territory, including by rail. According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the transit of goods that are not subject to EU sanctions continues.
According to the governor of the Kaliningrad region Anton Alikhanov, the Lithuanian Railways refused to accept for transportation, including construction materials, cement, metals and many other materials important for construction and production.
The Kremlin called such a move unprecedented and illegal, as well as a “violation of everything and everyone.” In response, Lithuania stated that it was complying with the decision of the European Commission on the implementation of the sanctions regime against Russia. The President of the Republic, Gitanas Nauseda, said that in the coming days, the EC will publish the principles for handling goods that are banned from being transported through the territory of Lithuania.
Authors Tags in blocking conditions
Lithuania reacted negatively to the decision of the European Commission to allow Moscow to use transit for all goods to Kaliningrad, contrary to its opinion, Der Spiegel reports, citing sources in the Lithuanian government.
In the coming days, the European Commission should publish the final clarification on this matter, the magazine writes. The document will spell out the right of Moscow to transport goods subject to sanctions to Kaliningrad, but only in the amount that was delivered there before the start of the special military operation in Ukraine.
“In Vilnius, this is regarded as a defeat. <…> We didn't change our position, — a Lithuanian government source told Der Spiegel. According to him, in particular Lithuania is outraged by the position of the German authorities, which “since June 18 has been putting pressure on the European Commission so that Kaliningrad is excluded from sanctions.”
The day before, the magazine wrote that the German authorities demand that Kaliningrad be excluded from sanctions, as they believe that a ban on transit could lead to an escalation of the conflict. According to him, the European Commission is going to publish its decision on July 10. At the same time, there is still no agreement with the Lithuanian government on this issue, the publication pointed out.
Lithuania has banned the transit of goods subject to European sanctions to the Kaliningrad region and from it to other Russian regions by rail. The restriction applies to iron and steel products, products for use in the aviation and space industries, perfumes, porcelain and other ceramics, household appliances worth more than €750, thoroughbred horses, truffles, cigars and other goods.
In the Kremlin the decision of the Lithuanian authorities was considered illegal. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov urged to “prepare for the worst” in resolving this conflict. Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Moscow was working on a response to “hostile actions.” At the end of June, he confirmed that the Kremlin was waiting for the decision of the European Commission on goods prohibited for transit.
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photo: center of vilnius. source: wikipedia
The international human rights organization Amnesty International accuses the Lithuanian authorities of racism and mistreatment of refugees. It is alleged that Vilnius prevents visitors from obtaining asylum, thereby violating EU laws.
Amnesty International Regional Director for Europe Neil Muižnieks said that “in accordance with its international obligations” Lithuania is obliged “to provide access to protection to asylum seekers “. In addition, the country’s authorities “should stop their brutal practice of automatically detaining refugees and migrants.”
This is new Lithuanian legislation, which was adopted after the largest influx of refugees in 2021. The new laws allowed automatic detention of people who crossed Lithuanian territory illegally. Such detention was called an alternative to temporary accommodation. Human rights activists believe that this practice is akin to illegal detention.
Ukrainian military expert, retired Colonel Oleg Zhdanov said that the European Union (EU) had “drifted” and left Lithuania and Estonia alone on one with Russia in a situation with restrictions on the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region. This is stated in an article for the Glavred publication.
“After all, transit was closed by the European Union by its decision, but for some reason it is not clear that Macron Scholz called Putin and said that they imposed sanctions, and not only Lithuania,” the source of the publication believes.
According to Zhdanov , The Kremlin will not use force against Vilnius due to transit difficulties.
If the issue of transit to the Kaliningrad region is not resolved, then Lithuania will face painful retaliatory measures, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier.
She also cited the statement of Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who argued that Russia should not win on the issue of sanctions. In her opinion, there should be no obstacles to communication between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia.
It was previously reported that prices for the delivery of goods to other Russian regions are expected to rise in Kaliningrad.
In Ukraine the operation continues. In London, they urged not to seek a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, subject to the renunciation of the territories. Finnish elevator and escalator maker Kone, British spirits maker Diageo and French tire maker Michelin are winding down business in Russia. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that in Kremenchug they hit hangars with Western weapons and ammunition. The fire in the closed shopping center located next to the warehouse started as a result of the detonation of ammunition. The G7 countries decided to adopt a new “Marshall Plan” for the restoration of Ukraine. Kyiv announced the exchange of prisoners of war under the “17 to 15” scheme. About 70 Russian diplomats allegedly convicted of espionage will be expelled from Bulgaria. Turkey has agreed with Sweden and Finland to lift the block on their joining the alliance. Read the broadcast here.
Lithuanian President Nausėda: EC will announce transit rules to Kaliningrad in a few days Nauseda did not give details, but noted that Vilnius opposes the “green corridor for special cargo”. The Kremlin called Lithuania's decision to ban the transit of goods subject to EU sanctions to Kaliningrad illegal 756565777048309.jpg” alt=”Lithuania announced the imminent publication of rules for transit to Kaliningrad” />
In the coming days, the European Commission will publish principles for handling goods that are banned from transit through Lithuania, DPA reported President of the Republic Gitanas Nauseda.
“We are working closely with the European Commission, which is expected to announce recommendations for the handling of these goods in transit in a few days,” he said (quote from Tagesspiegel).
Nauseda added that he did not want to speculate on the possible outcome, but noted that Vilnius is opposed to the “green corridor for special cargo.”
According to sources of the ARD TV channel, a compromise on this issue can be reached before July 10. Earlier, a Reuters source also spoke about this. According to the source of the agency, transportation between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia can be exempt from sanctions on the basis that they are not international trade in the full sense. This relief may be introduced on the condition that the goods subject to sanctions will be used exclusively in the Kaliningrad region and not sent further by sea, Reuters reported.
Since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of certain goods to the Kaliningrad region and from it to other Russian regions by rail. The 66-page list of prohibited goods included products made of iron and steel, goods for use in the aviation or space industry, perfumes, china or ceramic dishes, household appliances worth more than €750, purebred horses, truffles, cigars and other goods under EU sanctions.
The Lithuanian authorities stated that the measure was introduced in pursuance of EU sanctions and the country does not introduce any unilateral or additional restrictions. In the Kremlin, the decision of Vilnius to restrict transit was called illegal and a violation of “everything and everything”, and the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, threatened retaliatory measures that would be able to “cut off the oxygen to the Baltic neighbors.”
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As well as using electronic warfare systems and completely abandoning economic ties in response to the transit blockade
Lithuania categorically refuses to revise its plans to blockade transit to the Kaliningrad region. And even Brussels is unable to influence the leadership of this Baltic republic. The Kremlin considers the neighbor's policy to be aggressive and unfriendly. Experts discussed what is happening in relations between Russia, Lithuania and the European Union today during the round table.
“We are being probed,” says diplomat Andrei Baklanov, “in military affairs there is such a thing as reconnaissance in force. Now there is reconnaissance in force in several directions at once. And, according to our data, now there will be increased pressure in other areas. Apparently, American actions are being planned in Syria.”
In his opinion, “Lithuania is a small but very dangerous rival for us, which has the best connections with foreign intelligence services. All this should be taken very seriously and see the collective work of NATO behind it.”
“Often what is on the mind of the current politicians, on the tongue, is the expert on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, RIAC expert Vadim Trukhachev commented on the statement of the former Minister of Internal Affairs of Latvia Maris Gulbis that Kaliningrad from Russia “needs to be taken away “. – This is a test of our ability to maintain transport communications, our diplomatic, military, and informational capabilities: What will be the answer to this, how tough? It is necessary to prepare for everything in general, but there will most likely be no military developments in the near future. However, the entire list of non-military measures will be used.”
According to Vladimir Matyagin, President of the National Association of Freight Road Transport “Gruzavtotrans”, there are ways to deliver goods to the Kaliningrad region. “The alternative is sea ferry transportation, which has been established for many years. But these are additional costs. Rise in the cost of freight, rise in the cost of products for local residents.
The question is what compensation will be from the government of the Russian Federation so that the enclave does not suffer in terms of provision.
Andrey Romanov, President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of the Kaliningrad Region, believes that it is now important to analyze the decisions of Lithuania and the European Union and understand what cargo can be transported by land and which by sea, so as not to unnecessarily load ferries. Response measures, in his opinion, could be a complete ban on the import of Lithuanian goods, shutdown of the electricity supply system and a complete sea blockade. “It should be the same blockade for them. We also have an electronic warfare system that completely covers the sky for them. If they twist our arms, we should give them a warning,” he said. .
Regarding the prospects of Lithuania itself, experts give not the most comforting forecasts. Doctor of Economics, Professor of the Department of European Studies Nikolai Mezhevich believes that Lithuania's decision will hit its own economy hard.
“I think that the fall in the GDP of this Baltic country by the end of 2022 will be at least 8-12%,” says expert. – This is provided that the Lithuanian neighbors have learned to work well with numbers and always hide the real situation in the economy. We know all Lithuanian enterprises involved in the export of goods to Russia and Belarus, all intermediary firms. We are still the fourth partner for Lithuania in export-import operations. Plus, tourism played a big role. All this will go away. A military response should be categorically rejected, we are being provoked into it. Economic cooperation should be completely abandoned, Lithuania should no longer exist in this regard. Even a pack of cigarettes, a log or a bag of cement should not reach the European Union through them. Any trade with Lithuania is treason.”
Amendments to the legislation do not prohibit transit to Kaliningrad. Lithuania refused Russian gas at the beginning of April, its gas transmission system receives only the volumes necessary for transit
The Lithuanian Seimas (parliament) legally banned gas imports from Russia into the country, LRT reports. The amendments were supported by 123 deputies, two abstained.
Now the legislation prohibits access to the Lithuanian gas transmission system and the liquefied natural gas terminal in Klaipeda for suppliers from countries that are “considered a threat to national security.”
At the same time, the legislation does not prohibit the transit of gas through the territory of the country to Kaliningrad, restrictions do not apply to companies when supplying fuel to the Russian region. The agency notes that Russian gas continues to flow through the Lithuanian gas transmission system, but only the volumes necessary for transit to Kaliningrad pass through it.
Lithuania refused to supply Russian gas at the beginning of April, becoming the first state in the EU to make such a decision. Energy Minister Dainius Kreivis called the decision a “turning point”. The Lithuanian Ministry of Energy reported that the country is fully self-sufficient in gas through the Klaipeda LNG terminal. In 2017, Lithuania was the first in the EU to receive American LNG through this terminal. Lithuania stopped accepting Russian LNG through the port of Klaipeda in early March.
As Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte noted, the terminal in Klaipeda would not be enough to supply gas to all the Baltic countries, but the Minister of Energy is sure of the opposite.
The Lithuanian operator Amber Grid signed an agreement with Gazprom until 2025 for gas transit to the Kaliningrad region according to the “transport or pay” formula; (ship or pay). After Lithuania's decision to refuse Russian gas, Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov said that gas continues to flow through Lithuania in transit as usual.
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The deputy head of the Security Council called the actions of the Lithuanian side “part of the very “war by proxy” that the West unleashed against Russia,” and promised very tough measures
Russia's response to the restriction of the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region by Lithuania “is able to shut off the oxygen to the Baltic neighbors who have taken hostile actions,” said Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev in an interview with Argumenty i Fakty.
“By the way, the EU did not even insist on these steps (implementation of sanctions. — RBC), realizing possible problems. But Lithuania obsequiously bowed in front of American benefactors, once again demonstrating its moronic Russophobic attitudes, — considers Medvedev.
He called the actions of the Lithuanian side “part of the same” war by proxy “that the West unleashed against Russia.” “Naturally, the Russian Federation will take retaliatory measures, and they will be very tough,” — warned the deputy head of the Security Council.
First of all, ordinary Lithuanians will suffer from this, “whose standard of living by European standards”; just beggarly,” he noted. Citizens are trying to “somehow survive in this theater of the absurd”, while Lithuanian politicians are “curated”. At the same time, both sides are getting worse and worse, Medvedev added.
On June 22, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that Moscow, in response, was preparing not diplomatic, but practical measures, they were already being worked out at the interdepartmental level. On Monday, June 27, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov specified that the Russian side would make a decision on retaliatory measures in a few days. According to him, now “certain signals” are coming from the EC, the Russian side will see “what the situation will be in the coming days.”
Since June 18, the Lithuanian authorities have refused to allow transit trains with goods subject to EU sanctions to pass. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry explained that the republic complies with the sanctions of Brussels and does not apply any unilateral and additional restrictive measures. Lithuania was guided by EU sanctions, there is no talk of a blockade of the Kaliningrad region, later EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell assured.
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Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov called the transit situation a gross violation of international obligations by Lithuania and the EU. “Violation of everything and everyone” the actions of the Lithuanian authorities were also considered in the Kremlin. Moscow protested to Vilnius and demanded that the restrictions be lifted immediately.
On June 27, Lithuanian presidential adviser Kestutis Budrys said that Vilnius had agreed on the basic principles and provisions of transit with the EC. The head of the republic, Gitanas Nauseda himself, ruled out concessions to Russia. In response, the Kremlin stated that they were waiting for a reaction from the Lithuanian authorities.
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Photo: Natalia Gubernatorova
Russia will take measures in response to Lithuania's ban on transporting goods to the Kaliningrad region from Russia through its territory. This was stated by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev in an interview with the Arguments and Facts newspaper.
“Naturally, Russia will take retaliatory measures, and they will be very tough,” he said.
According to he said, Russia has the opportunity to “cut off the oxygen to the Baltic neighbors who have taken hostile actions.” In addition, Russia can apply asymmetric measures. Which will lead to a critical escalation of the conflict. But escalation is a bad way, ordinary citizens of Lithuania will suffer from it, whose standard of living, according to Medvedev, “is not the highest.”
He also called the transit ban a boorish decision and stressed that for the Baltic countries will have negative consequences.
Photo: Gennady Cherkasov
The Lithuanian authorities, in consultations with the EC, agreed on the main principles and fundamental guidelines for the transit of goods from the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad, shared details senior adviser to the head of Lithuania on national security Kestutis Budrys. According to him, the consultation took place in the light of updates on recommendations on the implementation of restrictive measures, but did not disclose the details of specific principles and provisions.
As the adviser to the Lithuanian leader noted, the main principles and basic provisions that should be followed were unanimously agreed upon. republic to clarify certain points for the European Commission.
Belarus is “very annoying” by the situation, politics and “aggressive behavior” of neighboring Poland and Lithuania. Lukashenka also pointed out that Lithuania's actions to ban transit to Kaliningrad can be compared to a declaration of war
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told Russian leader Vladimir Putin at a meeting in St. Petersburg that he considers Lithuania's actions to ban transit to the Kaliningrad region comparable to a declaration of war, BelTA informs.
a plan to stop transit from Russia through Belarus to Kaliningrad, to isolate Kaliningrad. Look, this is like declaring some kind of war. Such things are unacceptable in modern conditions,»,— he said.
Lukashenko also shared that Belarus is “very annoying” the situation and the policy pursued by its neighbors— Poland and Lithuania. He pointed out that lately there have been the most Polish mercenaries in Ukraine.
“It is clear that they are standing behind your back, pushing you, but the policy is disgusting. Behavior is aggressive»— concluded the Belarusian leader.
Earlier on June 25, Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius announced that the European Commission was discussing a draft document allowing the transportation of goods under sanctions from Russia to the Kaliningrad region through the EU .
At the same time, Auštrevičius recalled that Lithuania has the right of veto, which it can use to prevent a “serious political crisis”; in the country.
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On June 18, Lithuania stopped transit deliveries to the Kaliningrad region for a large list of goods that fall under EU sanctions. The list includes products made from iron, steel and other metals, fertilizers, timber, glass containers, cement, natural gas liquefaction plants, iron products, purebred horses, cigars, perfumes, etc.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis explained this measure by the implementation of European sanctions that came into force on June 17. The Kremlin considered these measures illegal.
EU Ambassador Markus Ederer assured that there was no question of a blockade of the Kaliningrad region, and asked to resolve the issue through diplomacy. At the same time, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said that Moscow was working on a response to “hostile actions.”
Ministry representative Maria Zakharova pointed out that a possible response to the restriction of transit would lie not in the diplomatic, but in the practical plane .
The Kremlin admitted that Lithuania could cancel the decision to restrict transit to Kaliningrad, but urged to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Authors Tags in blocking conditions
Military expert called the response of the Russian Federation and Belarus to Lithuania for the blockade of Kaliningrad
The analyst believes that the measures should not be military.
Military expert, director of the Museum of Air Defense Forces Yuri Knutov, in an interview with the media, said that Russia, together with Belarus, can give an answer to Lithuania on the imposition of a blockade of Kaliningrad.
In an interview with “Ukraine.ru” ; he suggested that Vilnius wanted to provoke Moscow into a military conflict, but Russia could respond with economic measures.
He suggested that if there were economic levers, one should turn to Minsk and put Lithuania in an economic blockade similar to the one that the country arranged for the Kaliningrad region. According to Knutov, NATO and the United States stand behind Vilnius, and it is to the West that he will turn in the event of the introduction of retaliatory economic sanctions against Russia.
Only in this way, the military expert believes, can Lithuania reverse the decision.
“So that later Lithuania would ask the West to allow some actions regarding the possibility of transporting Russian goods”, – he explained.
As Topnews wrote, last week it became known that the transit of a number of goods to Kaliningrad by the Lithuanian Railways was stopped. It was about goods that fell under EU sanctions. The Russian side declared the inadmissibility of such a measure. And the head of the region, Anton Alikhanov, explained that the ferries will cope with the new load.
As for the transit of petroleum products, it will stop after August 10.
Military expert, director of the Museum of Air Defense Forces Yuri Knutov, in an interview with the portal “Ukraine.ru” said, that Belarus and Russia can arrange a retaliatory blockade for Lithuania to resume transit to the Kaliningrad region.
According to him, with this step, the representatives of Vilnius wanted to provoke Moscow into a conflict. At the same time, the Russian side needs to make a choice in favor of economic measures of influence.
“We need to turn to Belarus and use every opportunity to ensure that Lithuania is in the same blockade as Kaliningrad from an economic point of view”, Knutov added.
He clarified that NATO and the United States are behind Lithuania's actions. The country would never have taken such a step on its own. If Russia introduces retaliatory economic measures, they may force Lithuania to turn directly to the Western allies.
“They may be associated with an appeal for permission to transport Russian goods,” Knutov said.