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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.
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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.
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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.
Trucks at the Chernyshevskoye checkpoint in the Kaliningrad region
The Kaliningrad region's response to the “sanctions blockade” should redirect the economic flow of the Baltic states to Russia. About this on the air «Soloviev Live» said the governor of the region Anton Alikhanov.
“I believe that these proposals should be aimed at ensuring that the economic flow and money that Lithuania and the Baltics as a whole earn should be redirected to Russia. We have such proposals. <…> We are not going to “freeze your grandmother's ears to spite”, we will make sure that the money that they used to earn, we will earn, — said Alikhanov.
As an example, Alikhanov cited the delivery of imported alcohol to the Kaliningrad region through the Baltic states. He stated that in such cases, all imported alcohol is actually marked with a Russian excise stamp abroad.
“This led to the fact that almost 100% of imported alcohol was supplied to Lithuania or Latvia and stored there. That is, the importers who carried, paid the Lithuanians and Latvians for storage in warehouses, for the accumulation of consignments. The second time they paid for labeling, it also cost money. And the third time they paid them for the fact that their Lithuanian companies, in particular, the well-known company Girteka, delivered these products to Russia, — Alikhanov said.
The governor noted that these flows can be redirected towards Russian economic operators.
The day before, Alikhanov said that work on response measures was already underway. They will be sent to the federal center in the near future. According to him, the response measures to Lithuania that Russia can take can be varied, and their consequences for the country's economy— essential.
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Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis explained that the country took this measure as part of the implementation of European sanctions that came into force on June 17, and did not introduce restrictions on its own. The Kremlin called these measures illegal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow's response would lie not in the diplomatic, but in the practical plane. However, the representative of the department, Maria Zakharova, did not specify what specific measures were in question.
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Lithuania is ready for Russia's retaliatory measures, including a possible disconnection from the regional power grid, President Gitanas Nauseda said
Lithuania will expand the list of trade restrictions on transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia while expanding the sanctions of the European Union, said the President of the Republic Gitanas Nauseda, reports Reuters.
He also stated that Lithuania is ready for retaliatory measures from Russia, including the possible disconnection of Lithuania from the regional energy system.
“We are ready for unfriendly actions from Russia, such as disconnection from the BRELL system and others,— Nauseda said.
BRELL— system for integrating power grids in Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, the Baltic countries announced plans to withdraw from it.
At the same time, Nauseda said that he did not expect a military confrontation with Russia. “I don't believe Russia will challenge us militarily because we are a member of NATO,” — he believes.
Lithuania announced a ban from June 18 on the transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia of sanctioned goods, including wood, metals, cement and other products. The Russian Foreign Ministry protested to Vilnius and demanded that restrictions be lifted immediately.
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The head of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, called the ban on the transit of sanctioned goods a violation of the international obligations of both Lithuania and the EU, saying that the neighboring country would face consequences. At the same time, he said that the inhabitants of the region do not expect a shortage of goods, since the products that fell under the restrictions can be delivered by sea.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, commenting on Moscow's claims, stated that it complies with EU sanctions and does not introduce any unilateral restrictions. They also said that the transit of goods that do not fall under EU sanctions continues.
The Federation Council called the actions of Lithuania “blockade”; Kaliningrad region and promised “tough” retaliatory measures, and the Russian Foreign Ministry said that they would be “practical”, not diplomatic in nature.
EU sanctions affecting the import of timber, steel and iron, cement and other goods from Russia were introduced in the spring after the start of the military operation in Ukraine.
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The measures that the departments are now developing in response to the actions of Lithuania, which has banned the transit of sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad through its territory, will be “practical”, not diplomatic, said Maria Zakharova
Russia's retaliatory measures on the restriction of Kaliningrad transit by Lithuania will lie not in the diplomatic, but in the practical plane, they are already being worked out at the interdepartmental level. This was stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, at a briefing broadcast on RuTube.
“I received a lot of questions about whether they will be on a diplomatic plane … Answer— no, they will not be in the diplomatic, but in the practical plane, & mdash; Zakharova said. According to her, response measures are now “worked out in an interagency format” and will be announced when they are agreed upon.
“We told both the European Union and Lithuania about the need to change the steps they have taken,”— said the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to her, it is possible that the EU and Lithuania will change their minds, and then Russia's response will be different.
Lithuania announced that it would stop the transit of goods subject to European sanctions from Russia to Kaliningrad from June 18. “According to our preliminary estimates, this is from 20 to 40% of the items that were transported between the Kaliningrad region and other regions of Russia,” — said the governor of the region Anton Alikhanov. Alikhanov also called the transit restriction a gross violation of the international obligations of both Lithuania and the EU, while the Russian Foreign Ministry protested to Vilnius and demanded that the restrictions be lifted immediately. The Kremlin called this step of Lithuania “unprecedented” and “illegal”.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, in response to Moscow's claims, said that the country complies with EU sanctions and does not introduce any unilateral and additional restrictions, as the transit of goods that are not subject to sanctions continues.
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Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev also arrived in the Kaliningrad region, he met with Alikhanov and the Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative in the Northwestern Federal District Alexander Gutsan.
The subject of discussion was, among other things, the issues of the uninterrupted functioning of the energy system of the Kaliningrad region, as well as the maintenance of the submarine fiber-optic communication line of the region with other subjects.
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was embarrassed by sending 50 soldiers to Lithuania instead of the promised several thousand troops.
Photo: pixabay .com
Columnist Matthew Karnichnig in Politico magazine reported that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was embarrassed by sending 50 soldiers to Lithuania, instead of the promised several thousand troops.
He clarified that Scholz's decision caused great bewilderment in Vilnius.
Earlier, Scholz told reporters that the German government would deploy a “reliable combat brigade” to Lithuania. According to preliminary data, its number was supposed to be several thousand military personnel.
Soon, this statement of Scholz was refuted by his assistants. According to them, the FRG plans to send about 50 soldiers to Lithuania.
“In turn, the assistants gave completely different comments. According to them, Germany will transfer to Lithuania only the headquarters of the unit, that is, about 50 people. At the same time, most of the troops will remain on the territory of Germany, ”the newspaper writes.
Photo: Gennady Cherkasov
Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev at a meeting in Kaliningrad promised that Moscow would give an answer to the decision in the near future Vilnius to ban the transit of goods subject to EU sanctions to the Kaliningrad region.
Patrushev called this decision “a blockade at the suggestion of Western countries”, which was introduced in violation of the norms and principles of international law. He noted that this example proves that neither written nor oral statements of the West can be trusted. The Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation stressed that Russia would certainly respond to such “hostile actions”.
Relevant measures, he added, are now being developed in an interdepartmental format and will be taken in the near future.
“Their consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania,” Patrushev stressed.
Kaliningrad Governor Alikhanov promised proposals for a response to Lithuania this week. They are already being worked out, the governor of the region said. Since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of sanctioned goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia ” alt=”Alikhanov promised to submit proposals for a response to Lithuania this week” />
This week Kaliningrad will send Moscow proposals for retaliatory measures to Lithuania in connection with the restriction of the transit of certain types of cargo from other Russian regions, said the governor of the region Anton Alikhanov on the TV channel “Russia 1”.
“Proposals regarding possible response measures [to Lithuania] are already being formed by us, and we will definitely send them to our federal colleagues. We agreed to do this this week, — Alikhanov said (TASS quote).
He also expressed the hope that through such “tough negotiations” Russia will be able to ensure that the EU and Lithuania return to fulfilling their international obligations and lift restrictions on transit. Otherwise, they will face the consequences of retaliatory measures, Alikhanov stressed.
Prior to this, the governor said that the response measures to Lithuania that Russia could take could be varied, and their consequences for the country's economy— essential.
Since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of sanctioned goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia through its territory. Alikhanov said that the restrictions apply to building materials, cement, metals and other products. Commenting on this decision of the Lithuanian authorities, he said that, according to preliminary estimates, the ban will affect from 20 to 40% of the items that were transported between the Kaliningrad region and other regions of Russia. At the same time, Alikhanov noted that the delivery of goods will be arranged by sea, no shortage is expected in the region.
The governor called what is happening a violation of the international obligations of Lithuania and the EU to ensure the free transit of goods. He proposed, as a response, to ban the labeling of imported foreign alcohol on the territory of the Baltic countries, which would cause damage to these states in the amount of €300 million a year.
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The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said it had imposed a ban based on sanctions imposed by the European Union. “Lithuania has not imposed any unilateral, individual or additional restrictions on this transit. Lithuania consistently applies EU sanctions, which have different transitional periods and deadlines,— said in the department.
At the same time, on April 8, the European Union, as part of the fifth package of sanctions against Russia, excluded road transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia from restrictions.
On June 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry protested about the actions of Vilnius and demanded that the restrictions be lifted immediately. The Kremlin called this decision illegal. On June 21, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer and warned of retaliatory measures if these restrictions were not lifted. “We demanded the immediate restoration of the normal functioning of the Kaliningrad transit. Otherwise, retaliatory measures will follow, — The ministry said in a statement.
After a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Ederer assured that the transit of goods that do not fall under EU restrictive measures “works normally”, and asked not to aggravate the situation and resolve the issue through diplomacy, stressing that there is no talk of a blockade.
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Perhaps diplomatic and economic measures will suffice
Lithuania's ban on the transit through its territory of a large range of cargo from Russia to the Kaliningrad region will affect the supply of troops in the region, as well as the Baltic Fleet . Aleksey Leonkov, military analyst, editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, spoke about whether this could fundamentally affect the combat capability of the Baltic Fleet, and whether Russia is ready for a military response to Lithuania.
Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
In his opinion, Lithuania's ban on land transit will not have a strong impact on cargo supplies to the Baltic Fleet in the near future.
– Still, they do not block the sea route across the Baltic, – Leonkov says. – And they are unlikely to take this step at all, since this would actually mean declaring war on Russia. The ban on supplies will have a greater impact on the development of the Kaliningrad region.
As for our possible military response, there are a number of factors to consider. Our Foreign Ministry has already resolutely told the representatives of Lithuania and the EU that they are violating the agreements that we had when Russia recognized Lithuania as an independent state. Then we were promised unhindered transit to the Kaliningrad region.
According to the expert, a military response will be the last measure that Russia will be forced to apply if diplomatic and economic levers do not work against Lithuania.
– And we still have a lot of such economic levers in relation to Lithuania, – specifies Leonkov. – Moreover, they should not be applied gradually, but immediately, so that this country would experience a shock from our actions. If this does not help, then, of course, military measures will have to be taken to ensure unhindered passage to the Russian enclave.
Many believe that in this case Article 5 of the NATO Collective Security Treaty will have to come into effect. It is interpreted as a mandatory entry into the war of the entire Alliance, if an attack is made on one or more NATO countries.
In fact, the wording of this article is not as unambiguous as many people think. It does not say about the automatic entry into the war of the entire NATO because of any country. Everything is subject to a number of conditions. And another big question is whether the NATO countries are ready to get involved in a war with Russia for the interests of Lithuania, realizing that such a war is likely to lead to a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.
Aleksey Leonkov believes that in the current situation Europe is not inclined to aggravate the situation. Moreover, Lithuania declares that it has coordinated its actions with the EU. But so far, Vilnius's statements have not been officially confirmed and the steps have not been supported.
– I think – says Leonkov, – that Lithuania, which staged this provocation on the initiative of Great Britain, will still back down after we use diplomatic and economic levers. But if they do not lead to a result, then here, as they say, if you do not want to talk with Lavrov, then you will deal with Shoigu. Ukraine has already understood this…
Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Patrushev at a meeting in Kaliningrad said: Russia will definitely respond to Lithuania blocking supplies to the Kaliningrad region. Measures will be taken. But, he noted, this step of Lithuania, made at the suggestion of the West, proves that one cannot trust not only its oral, but also written statements.