The blockade of Kaliningrad, a new front between Russia and the EU

Partial blockade of Russia’s Baltic region Kaliningrad by Lithuania opens a new front between European Union (EU) and Russia, Kim this Monday threatened with close response measures in the face of an “openly hostile” move.

Russia summoned its Lithuanian charge d’affaires, Virginia Umbrasene, in Moscow on Monday. “Strong protest” “without notice” for this “provocative” measure.

“We demand the immediate cancellation of these restrictions”reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to the Russian military action in Ukraine, the blockade coincides this week with the granting of Kiev candidate status for EU entry, as well as possible entry into the EU. NATO of Finland and Sweden, two Baltic states.

Russia is considering a quick response

The Kremlin, which branded it “illegal”, suspension of transit to and from Kaliningrad, He denounced that the Baltic country’s actions had “blocking elements, of course”, because the existence of the enclave was dependent on goods from Russia.

Kaliningrad is a former German district named after Soviet revolutionary Mikhail KalininIt is an enclave separated from the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation and borders the two countries of the EU and Europe. NATOLithuania and Poland.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “The situation is more than serious”In the coming days, Russia will make a “deep analysis” of what happened, which it attributes to the sanctions adopted by the EU.

“If soon Transit of goods between Kaliningrad and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation “If not fully restored through Lithuania, Russia reserves the right to take action to defend its national interests,” he said.

Moscow blamed Vilnius Violation of the 1994 Association and Cooperation Agreement and the 2002 Joint DeclarationIn transit between Kaliningrad and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation.

“This is not a Lithuanian decision, it’s just Implementation of those adopted by the EU‘ replied Gabrielius Landsbergis, the Baltic foreign minister.

In this regard, the Governor of Kaliningrad Anton Alikhanov warned Lithuania. Baltic ports “like it or not, they cannot exist outside the Russian Federation.”

“With regard to transport, the measures of intervention are very obvious and tremendously painful (for Lithuania). It is not that competitiveness is greatly reduced if we exclude the passage through Russian territory, will be canceled‘ he stressed.

Consequences of the blockade

Alikhanov admitted that the partial blockade of Lithuania will affect up to 50% of the goods received by the region, Mostly metals, cement and building materials, which he accuses Vilnius of trying to “strangle” the local economy.

“This is a clearly hostile step. We do not want to buy these products from Europe. We are determined to supply them to our region or to export the goods we produce here mainly to Russian territory,” he told Russian state television.

This is a “a wide variety of goods”, however, it had announced that coal would not be affected until August 10, and diesel or gasoline until December.

“To solve the transit problem through Lithuania, the European Commission (EC) simplyMaking changes to EU sanctions“It was stress.

He warned that otherwise, he would lose a lot of money in transit. It is one of the main sources of finance for the Lithuanian railway system, he said it was “incomplete” and needed to invest in infrastructure.

Alikhanov was convinced Increase in the number of merchants from St. Petersburg Residents of Kaliningrad will not have a shortage of essential goods, although the transit will be “longer and more expensive.”

A month ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin scolded Alikhanov For blaming the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine for Kaliningrad’s problems.

Is it a spy?

“If the Lithuanians close the crossing, they will ‘the safe is nice’. Part of Russia is separated from the rest of the country, Alexei Gromiko, director of the European Institute, told Efe before Vilnius announced the measure.

The question is whether Russia takes this into account. The blockade is a measure that “puts Kaliningrad under military threat.”

The blockade does not violate a bilateral agreement, but Agreement between Russia and the EUThat was the commitment when Lithuania joined in 2004 to respect the transition between Kaliningrad and the rest of the Russian territory.

Gromyko, current situation Finland and Sweden Join the Atlantic Alliance which would leave Kaliningrad “fully surrounded” by NATO member states.

Among the Russian responses, he implied the Suwalki corridor (Suvalski in Russian), the shortest route between his lands. BelarusClose ally of Russia and Kaliningrad.

Suwalki is a district strip. great strategic importance, because it communicates the Baltic states with other allied countries via Poland.

Exactly, at the end of March, Lithuania requested additional assistance from the EU. increase security in that corridor, The area guarded by the Lithuanian border guards and considered one of NATO’s weakest points.

Agreement signed in 2004 Provides civil and military traffic between Russia and Kaliningrad Fearing a possible movement of Russian troops due to the conflict in Ukraine, through the territory of Lithuania.

Source: Informacion


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