Moscow decries the “openly hostile” move to limit the flow of EU-sanctioned goods to the Russian region, as Lithuania defends the measures.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded the immediate lifting of Lithuania’s “openly hostile” restrictions on the carriage of EU-sanctioned goods by rail to the Moscow suburb of Kaliningrad.
Located between the European Union and NATO members Poland and Lithuania, Kaliningrad receives supplies from Russia via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania.
The Baltic country of Lithuania announced last week that it has Prohibit the carriage of goods by rail subject to EU sanctions from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad.
The list includes coal, metals, building materials and advanced technology.
“If in the near future the process of transporting goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not fully restored, then Russia has the right to take actions to protect its interests. country,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. in a statement on Monday.
The ministry said it had summoned the Lithuanian officials in charge in Moscow to protest the “provocative” and “openly hostile” measures.
Earlier on Monday, the Kremlin said Lithuania’s decision was “unprecedented” and “a violation of all there is”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “The situation is more serious than serious and it requires a very profound analysis before taking any measures and decisions.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis defended the move and said his country was simply implementing sanctions imposed by the EU of which the EU is a member.
He said the measures were taken after “consultation with the European Commission and in accordance with the Commission’s instructions”.
Landsbergis added: “Embargoed goods (will) no longer be allowed to transit the Lithuanian territory.
According to Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov, the ban will affect about 50% of all goods imported into the country.
The ban was confirmed on Friday by the freight branch of Lithuania’s state rail service in a letter to customers after “clarification” from the European Commission on the mechanism for applying the measures. sanctions.
Alikhanov said two ships have transported goods between Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg, urging people not to resort to panic buying, and seven more ships will enter service by the end of the year.
“Our ferries will handle all the cargo,” he said on Saturday.
Home to Russia’s Baltic Sea fleet, the warship was captured from Nazi Germany by the Red Army in April 1945 and ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II.