UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

[ rfe/rl banner ]

Russia Protests Transit Block To Kaliningrad, Threatens 'Retaliation' Against Lithuania

By RFE/RL June 21, 2022

Russia has summoned the European Union's envoy to Moscow to "strongly" protest new restrictions on goods shipments to its Kaliningrad exclave through EU member Lithuania while threatening the Baltic state with "retaliation."

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on June 21 that EU Ambassador to Moscow Markus Ederer was informed of the "inadmissibility of such actions" and warned "retaliation will follow" if the restrictions aren't removed immediately. It did not elaborate.

Kaliningrad is wedged between Lithuania and Poland, where the Pregolya River feeds into the Baltic Sea. It has about 500,000 inhabitants.

Lithuanian officials said they imposed the restrictions beginning on June 20 in an effort to shore up punitive measures that followed Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Ederer echoed that line after the meeting in Moscow, saying that "Lithuania is not taking unilateral measures, it is implementing EU sanctions."

He added that there was no blockade of Kaliningrad as the transit of non-sanctioned goods to the enclave continues.

EU spokesman Peter Stano said Ederer asked the Russians at the meeting "to refrain from escalatory steps and rhetoric."

The Kremlin, meanwhile, dispatched one of President Vladimir Putin's top allies to Kaliningrad, where he warned that "appropriate measures" will be taken by Moscow "in the near future."

"Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions," Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev said at a regional security meeting in Kaliningrad.

"Their consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania," he warned. He also said the actions show that Russia cannot trust the West, which he said had broken written agreements over Kaliningrad.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said it was "ironic to hear rhetoric about alleged violations of international treaties" from Russia, which she accused of violating "possibly every single international treaty."

She repeated Vilnius's position that it is only implementing sanctions imposed by the EU and denied Lithuania's actions amounted to a blockade.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-eu-block-transit- kaliningrad/31908126.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list