Lithuania banned the transit of products sanctioned by the European Union by means of Lithuanian territory to and from the exclave on Saturday, June 19, citing EU sanction guidelines imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The transit ban has ramped up already excessive ranges of pressure between Russia and NATO over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Kremlin has referred to as the transfer “overtly hostile” and warned it is going to take motion if the ban just isn’t lifted “within the close to future”
Russia’s international ministry summoned Lithuania’s prime envoy in Moscow on Monday, June 20, to protest the ban.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov informed reporters: “The scenario is greater than severe.
“This choice is absolutely unprecedented. It’s a violation of every thing.”
He warned: “We think about this unlawful. The scenario is greater than severe…we’d like a severe in-depth evaluation to be able to work out our response.”
Russia’s international ministry has demanded Vilnius reverse what it dubbed an “overtly hostile” transfer instantly.
The Ministry stated in a press release: “We think about provocative measures of the Lithuanian facet which violate Lithuania’s worldwide authorized obligations, primarily the 2002 Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the European Union on transit between the Kaliningrad area and the remainder of the Russian Federation, to be overtly hostile.”
It added: “If cargo transit between the Kaliningrad area and the remainder of the Russian Federation by way of Lithuania just isn’t absolutely restored within the close to future, then Russia reserves the suitable to take actions to guard its nationwide pursuits.”
Lithuania has stated the ban was merely implementing EU sanctions introduced in as a part of a swathe of measures meant to place strain on Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters in Luxembourg, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated: “It’s not Lithuania doing something: it is European sanctions that began working from 17 of June.
“It was achieved with session from European Commission and below European Commission pointers.”
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The enclave is house to the Russian Baltic Fleet and a deployment location for Moscow’s nuclear-capable Iskander missiles.
News of the upcoming ban got here on Friday in a video message posted by Kaliningrad’s governor Anton Alikhanov.
Mr Alikhanov stated the ban would cowl between 40 and 50 p.c of the objects that Kaliningrad imports from and exports to Russia by means of Lithuania because the EU sanctions listing notably contains coal, metals, development supplies and superior know-how.
He stated: “We think about this to be a most severe violation … of the suitable to free transit into and out of Kaliningrad area.”
He added that authorities would press to have the measures lifted and, if the ban was not lifted rapidly, the area would begin discussing the necessity for extra retailers to hold items to Russia.
Lithuania closed its airspace to flights from Russia to Kaliningrad in February, forcing business carriers to take an extended route over the Baltic Sea.