Today, after the end of the transition period, rail transit of cement, alcohol, caviar and other luxury goods through Lithuania to and from Kaliningrad is prohibited. This measure is part of the fifth package of EU sanctions against Russia for waging war against Ukraine.
This is another siege pack. From June 18, a ban was imposed on the transit of steel and iron products into the Russian exclave. The decision infuriated Moscow, which saw it as aggressive and portendous “consequences.”
We won’t wait forever. Once again, we warn you that if the situation does not stabilize in the coming days, then Russia will take harsh measures against Lithuania and the European Union, preparations have already been completed. It takes a long time to solve the problem – Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
According to media reports, Berlin fears an escalation of the dispute. German soldiers are stationed in Lithuania, who may be drawn into a potential conflict. Officials argue that the crossing should be allowed into the ghetto because it is “from Russia to Russia” and is not part of international trade.
Lithuania insists on its position and says that it was the European Union that changed its position. In an interview with Der Spiegel, a senior official says the European Commission made it clear in April that the sanctions would also apply to crossings into Kaliningrad.
Vilnius claims it too Russia was well prepared to lay siege to the ghetto. Transit documents show that steel imports were twice as high as before the sanctions were implemented.
Officials argued that the dispute would be resolved by July 10. The deadline is today and there is no indication that an agreement has been reached.
Today’s ban is not the end of sanctions for crossing into Kaliningrad. From August 10, a ban will be imposed on the transportation of coal, and from December 5 – crude oil and petroleum products.
The border between Lithuania, Poland, Belarus and Kaliningrad Oblast is the so-called Isthmus. According to experts, in the event of a clash between Russia and NATO, the region will be the “first point of contact”. Thus, any friction causes great concern.
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