Kaliningrad supply dries up further, Moscow grows impatient | War in Ukraine

Kaliningrad’s supply dries up further, Moscow grows impatient | War in Ukraine

Residents of Kaliningrad cross a bridge that overlooks a train station where many freight cars are parked, on June 21, in Kaliningrad.

Lithuania on Monday extended the list of goods to or from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad which it prohibits transit through its territory, suddenly increasing tensions with the Kremlin, which is preparing retaliatory measures.

As of this morning, Russia can no longer ship or receive concrete, wood, alcohol and alcohol-based industrial chemicals to or from Kaliningrad via Lithuania, according to a spokesperson for the Russian Federation. Lithuanian customs. These goods are most often transported by rail.

These goods are added to others which can no longer transit through Lithuania since June 17 (coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technologies) due to sanctions adopted by the European Union (EU) to punish Moscow in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

The Kremlin, which has been saying for weeks that it will not stand idly by in the face of this situation, said on Monday that the Russian and Belarusian presidents were working on joint measures to retaliate against Lithuania.

During a telephone conversation, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko highlighted the situation due to the illegal sanctions introduced by Lithuania […] and in this context discussed possible joint measures, he said in a message posted on Telegram.

Last Friday, the Kremlin warned not only Lithuania, but also the EU that it could adopt severe measures against them if the transit of the goods targeted by the sanctions does not resume in the coming days. Russian diplomacy has already called these measures “hostile”.

Some European politicians and business leaders are particularly concerned that Russia will extend the closure of the Nord Stream pipeline carrying its gas to Germany beyond the scheduled maintenance period 10 days. This work officially began on Monday.

Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg, capital of East Prussia, was captured from Nazi Germany by the Red Army in April 1945 and incorporated into the Soviet Union after World War II. It is landlocked between Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north and east.

The enclave of Kaliningrad (the red dot on the map) used to belong to Germany, before being ceded to the USSR after World War II.

Apart from the one with Kaliningrad, Lithuania has no border with Russia. On the other hand, it has some 680 kilometers of border with Belarus, the Kremlin's number one ally, and rear base of the Russian army during its assault on Ukraine.

At the end of June, EU officials began talks with Russia to try to resolve this problem which, according to Moscow, violates an agreement signed in 2002 when the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia), former -Soviet republics, joined the EU.

Germany supports these negotiations, but Lithuania is resistant to them, for fear that an agreement will be perceived as a concession to Moscow.

Failing an agreement, the governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov, proposed on Monday that Russia stop shipping goods to the three Baltic states, and that it s is trying instead to supply Kaliningrad by ship.

This would provide work for our sea carriers and work in the ports of Kaliningrad, which have been hit hard by the restrictions of the European Union, he explained in a message published on Telegram.

Kaliningrad should however be exempted from applying these sanctions, he specified.

Beginning of the widget. Skip the widget? End of the widget. Back to top of widget?With information from Agence France-Presse, and Reuters

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