“They are trying to cause trouble for Moscow.” Why is Lithuania blocking Kaliningrad?

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protested the Lithuanian Charge d’affaires in Moscow Virginia Umbrasene regarding Vilnius’ ban on rail transit of part of the cargo going from Lithuanian territory to the Kaliningrad region. As stated in the episode, the Russian side demanded that the restrictions be lifted immediately.

“We consider the provocative measures of the Lithuanian side in violation of Lithuania’s international legal obligations, in particular the Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the European Union on transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation in 2002. openly hostile. In this regard, they stated

If cargo transport through Lithuania between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation is not fully restored in the near future, Russia reserves the right to take action to protect its national interests. .

At the same time, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian presidency, made it clear that Moscow considers Lithuania’s actions illegal and unprecedented violations of “anything and everything”. According to him, the Russian authorities, based on the results of a serious analysis, will determine the measures of reaction to the steps of Vilnius.

“This is a violation of anything and everything. We understand that this is due to the European Union’s decision to expand sanctions to include transit. We find this illegal as well, this is of course an element of the blockade. Now, perspectives will definitely need to be gathered through various departments. “There will be interdepartmental events on this issue to develop a common stance,” Peskov said.

How can Russia respond?

The Russian media are discussing various intervention steps regarding Lithuania, from the introduction of a symmetrical ban on transit of goods, including petroleum products, through Lithuanian territory by the Russian Federation, to the creation of the Suwalki corridor. Able to connect the Kaliningrad region with Belarus along the Lithuanian-Polish border.

In particular, Andrey Klimov, chairman of the interim commission of the Federation Council for the protection of state sovereignty, did not exclude:

If the European Union does not promptly force Vilnius to lift its restrictions, this will for Moscow denounce the legitimacy of all documents relating to Lithuania’s EU membership and will free its hands to resolve the problem created by any means we choose.

He noted that the Lithuanian side has joined NATO and the EU, taking into account the Kaliningrad transition.

“Thus, the unacceptable behavior of Vilnius now jeopardizes this entire military-political bloc, which has launched an unacceptable blockade by one of the member states on the subject of the Russian Federation. Secondly, it can be considered a direct aggression against Russia, which literally forces us to immediately resort to appropriate defense, ”the statement said.

State Duma deputy Oleg Morozov proposed to impose a ban on all Lithuanian goods and to suspend energy traffic from Belarus to Lithuania. In addition, the deputy urged to consider the possibility of an ultimatum regarding the timing of the creation of the Suwalki corridor.

RIA Novosti quoted Morozov as saying, “Present an ultimatum on the timing of practical action to create the Suwalki corridor if the transit refuses to comply with our requests to unblock it.”

At the same time, State Duma Deputy Chairman Pyotr Tolstoy told socialbites.ca that the Russian government has already prepared various answers and that “Lithuania will not like any of them.” According to him, Vilnius proves with his actions that he has no rules left.

“Cancellation of this document [о признании Литвы частью ЕС] It would mean that we do not recognize the existence of Lithuania, because these things are connected there – we are talking about Lithuanian borders. Therefore, I do not think such an option would be pragmatic.

But foreign policy is determined by the President of Russia and implemented by the government. Therefore, everything will depend on the options to choose. “There is only one thing that can be said here: Such unfriendly actions will not go unanswered.”

At the same time, Alexei Chepa, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Relations, announced that Russia will take all reasonable steps to lift these restrictions on rail access.

“Technically, we are already solving this problem. But at the moment, a whole package of actions is being prepared, which can be aimed at making another decision. As for whether Lithuania’s accession to the EU can come to the abolition of its recognition by Russia, then the position of Brussels today really reflects all the norms and However, on behalf of some European countries, we will rely on a certain common sense, because the aggravation of the situation in the Kaliningrad region causes additional tension, ”said the author.

What threatens the Kaliningrad blockade?

Currently, the Kaliningrad region officials promise that the problem of blocking part of the rail transit of goods to the region will be offset by sea deliveries. Also, the goods can be delivered by road and air.

At the same time, the European media characterizes the fact of blocking Kaliningrad by Lithuania as dangerous, as it allegedly can force Moscow to use the Suwalki corridor. According to Politico, this section of the Lithuanian-Polish border could hypothetically become the most dangerous place on the planet due to the threat of a direct conflict between Russia and NATO in this area.

From the point of view of the watchers of the broadcast, this corridor will cut off the Baltic states from their NATO allies and directly connect the Kaliningrad region with Belarus. But so far, there are no prerequisites for Russia to “hold the road” between the allied countries.

Experts interviewed by socialbites.ca agree that the Lithuanian blockade is a provocation, but it is unlikely to lead to any military action.

That’s why Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies, believes it would be better not to react at all in the current situation.

“The purpose of the provocations is the same – to provoke Russia to sharply tighten the special military operation in Ukraine, including by increasing the direct defeat on Ukrainian territory. This is necessary in order to give a certain media picture, “dehumanizing” the image of the Russian Federation. It would probably be better not to react to provocations in the current situation. A limited reaction will not produce the desired result, and an unlimited one will likely lead to an unnecessary result. “At the moment, Kaliningrad is not the direction of the “main strike”, we have enough ferries to connect Baltiysk to Ust-Luga and clear the congestion,” he said.

Aleksey Martynov, director of the Institute for Recent Situations, partially agrees. According to him, like the policy of a group of Western states led by the USA, due to the crisis in Ukraine, Lithuania is provoking Russia.

“No matter how much one would like to argue in the paradigm of the development of a special military operation plan in Ukraine, it is unlikely that this situation will eventually lead to any military action. Clearly, the Ukraine case does not fulfill the duties of Western moderators. Therefore, they are trying to escalate problems for Moscow, especially at the expense of Kaliningrad, ”the author said.

At the same time, the interlocutor of socialbites.ca continues, the Baltic countries are critically dependent on the transition from Russia, and in the case of blocking Kaliningrad, they will not last long, so this blocking story most likely will not end with anything.

It is likely that Russia will take symmetrical measures against the Baltic states. If they do not allow the goods to enter the Kaliningrad region, Moscow may close the transit of goods through the Baltic States as a whole, including the neutral waters in the Baltic Sea. “This could also affect the electricity supply, which is critical for the Baltic states,” he said.

Russia accused Lithuania of hostile actions against the background of blocking the railway passage from the main part of the Russian Federation to the Kaliningrad region. The Russian Foreign Ministry demanded that Vilnius lift all restrictions, and the Federation Council saw the transport blockade as a direct attack that “untied” Moscow’s hands. Will Kaliningrad’s transport blockade cause an aggravation in the Suwalki corridor in socialbites.ca material?

Source: Gazeta


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