Kaliningrad governor says Baltic economy will react devastatingly to transit ban

Anton Alikhanov, governor of the Kaliningrad region, said that possible retaliatory measures by Russia to restrict the transit of goods to Lithuania’s Kaliningrad region could cause very serious harm to Russia. His words were reported by RIA Novosti.

“Decisions can be completely different… [потенциальный ответ РФ] It can simply destroy some sectors of the economy, which previously accounted for a significant share of the state budgets of these countries.

According to Alikhanov, transportation is the cornerstone on which the economies of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia stand.

“The amount of dependence of the transport complex on the currently existing Russian Federation of all the Baltic states, not only Lithuania, is huge, although, of course, it does not say that the entire transport complex exists only thanks. For partnership and interaction with the Russian Federation”.

Earlier, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev said at a field meeting in Kaliningrad that Moscow will soon take retaliatory measures against the “blockade” of the Kaliningrad region.

“Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions. Appropriate measures are being worked out in a cross-departmental format and will be taken in the near future. Its consequences will have a serious negative impact on the Lithuanian population,” he threatened.

According to Patrushev, the situation in the border region in the North-West Region “in the context of NATO’s establishment of a military and intelligence presence near the Russian state border, as well as unprecedented political, informational and economic pressure from the West.” The restriction on the supply of goods from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad took place “at the suggestion of Western countries, in violation of the norms and principles of international law.”


On 17 June, Lithuanian Railways informed the Kaliningrad Railway that from 18 June they will stop transiting a large list of goods that are “subject to European sanctions”. Governor Alikhanov later noted that, according to preliminary estimates, the embargo will affect between 40% and 50% of the entire range of transit cargo. These are building materials, cement, metals and other important commodities.

On 20 June, Virginia Umbrasiene, the Lithuanian Charge d’affaires in Russia, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where there was fierce protest.

“We demanded that these restrictions be lifted immediately,” the State Department said. They also noted that if freight transport is not fully restored in the near future, Moscow “reserves the right to act to protect its national interests.”

According to the official position of Vilnius, Lithuania did not impose unilateral restrictions – the ban is provided for by the next EU sanctions package on Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Passengers and goods not subject to the EU sanctions regime continue to be transported to and from the Kaliningrad region via Lithuanian territory. The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Lithuania did not impose any unilateral, individual or additional restrictions on this transition.

The Ministry of Economic Development of the Kaliningrad Region has also published a list of goods that cannot enter the region through Lithuania due to restrictions. The document consists of 66 pages. It included, among other things, cars (excluding ambulances), motorcycles and spare parts for them, funiculars, the value of which was more than 50,000 euros.

The restrictions included household appliances over 750 euros, luxury items as well as caviar, perfumes, sports equipment for billiards, bowling, golf and musical instruments over 1,000 euros each. All these substances are included in the sanctions lists of the European Union.

The regional governor, Anton Alikhanov, said that retaliatory measures by Russia to restrict the transit of goods through Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region could destroy entire sectors of the Baltic republics’ economy. According to him, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia get their main income from transport. Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev previously said that Moscow will take serious retaliatory measures against Vilnius in the near future.

Source: Gazeta


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