The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched on the Baltic Sea coast between Poland and Lithuania, both members of the EU and NATO, is set to become more isolated. The Lithuanian government began this weekend to restrict the transit of goods according to the sanctions of the European Union, which caused the anger of Moscow, which yesterday Monday brought out its dialectical artillery.
Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov called the decision "illegal" and announced a reaction for the next few days. “The situation is more than serious. It is unprecedented. It is a violation of everything. If the transit of goods between Kaliningrad Oblast and the rest of the Russian Federation via Lithuania is not fully restored in the near future, Russia reserves the right to take measures to protect its national interests,” he announced. Some politicians, such as Senator Andréi Klishas, even spoke of a "blockade". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with a “hostile” gesture.
The limitation affects metals, coal and construction material, among other goods, 40-50% of the total according to the governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov.
Lithuania assured yesterday that it is not imposing restrictions "unilaterally, individually or additionally". From Luxembourg, its Foreign Minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said that the limitation of transit to the Russian enclave is in accordance with "European sanctions", according to the AFP agency.
Along the same lines, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, assured that “land transit between Russia and Kaliningrad has not been stopped or prohibited. The transit of passengers and goods continues. There is no lockdown,” he declared.
According to Moscow, the move violates a 2002 agreement between Russia and the EU. The current head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dimitri Rogozin, negotiated that agreement as then chairman of the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee. In his account on Telegram he recalled that, as part of the agreement, Russia's ratification of a treaty on its common border with Lithuania was included. "If Brussels and Vilnius treacherously break the package of agreements (...), the EU can understand the consequences of its suicidal decision on the legitimacy of its eastern border," he warned.
This pulse occurs two weeks after the deputy Yevgueni Fiódorov presented in the Duma a proposal to annul the recognition of the independence of Lithuania, approved when the Soviet Union had not yet dissolved.
The Kaliningrad oblast is home to the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet and Russia has Iskander missiles (with nuclear capability) deployed there. Its capital is the former Königsberg, capital of East Prussia, captured by the Red Army in April 1945 from Nazi Germany and delivered after World War II to the USSR.
The region receives supplies from Russia by rail and natural gas by pipeline through Lithuania. Now it will have to be helped by sea transportation from St. Petersburg, Governor Alikhanov said on Saturday.