Lithuania has Banned Rail Transport to Kaliningrad, Prompting Russia to Warn Retaliation
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MOSCOW – Russia requested on Monday that Lithuanian ease its “openly hostile” limitations on the railway passage of EU-sanctioned products to Moscow’s exclave of Kaliningrad, which lies just on the Lithuanian-Polish border.

Moscow claimed the Baltic country of prohibiting the rail transport of commodities subject to European Union penalties placed in response to Russia’s military assault in Ukraine.

In a statement published Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it contacted Lithuania’s charge d’affaires in Moscow to denounce the “provocative” and “openly unfriendly” steps.

“If freight passage in between Kaliningrad area and the remainder of the Russian Federation’s territory across Lithuania is not fully restored in the coming years,” the ministry added, “Russia has the right to take steps to safeguard its national interests.”

Lithuania has Banned Rail Transport to Kaliningrad, Prompting Russia to Warn RetaliationThe transit prohibition, according to the government, violates a 2002 agreement between Russia and the EU. Lithuania’s move was “unprecedented” and “in defiance of everything, there is,” according to the Kremlin, which warned that punitive measures will be taken.

“The issue is more than severe, and it necessitates a thorough investigation before any steps or decisions are taken,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

The embargo was enforced by European sanctions over Ukraine, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs minister Gabrielius Landsbergis announced earlier on Monday.

“These are European measures that went into effect on June 17,” he told media in Luxembourg, adding that the restrictions were aimed against rail transit of steel goods in this case.

‘There is no authority to threaten Lithuania,’ says the author.

Regarding the declaration from Moscow’s foreign ministry, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs minister Dmytro Kuleba chastised Russia.

“Russia does not have the authority to threaten Lithuania. “The repercussions of Moscow’s aggressive and unlawful invasion of Ukraine are solely its responsibility,” Kuleba stated in a social media statement.

According to Governor Anton Alikhanov of Kaliningrad, the embargo will affect 40-50 percent of all goods into the exclave.

Coal, metals, construction materials, and modern technologies are among the items on the list.

On Monday, Alikhanov told Russian state television that the situation was “unpleasant but doable” and that the products might be transported via sea.

He went on to say that these commodities were not meant for European trade, but rather for “supplying” the region.

The militarily powerful overseas territory of Kaliningrad, sandwiched among EU and Nato countries Lithuania and Poland, doesn’t share a physical boundary with Russia.

 

Blockade of grain

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy leader, said on Monday that Russia must be held “accountable” if it continues to prevent the transfer of critical grain from Ukraine.

“It’s hard to believe that vast quantity of wheat are still stuck in Ukraine while people throughout the world go hungry. At a conference of European Union international leaders, Borrell remarked, “This is a true war crime.”

As worries of hunger spread throughout vulnerable regions, the West has urged that Moscow lift its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, allowing enormous reserves of food to be sent to global markets.

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