Lithuania, a NATO member, is sanctioning Kaliningrad, Russia in an escalation of the economic war. Russia calls it a blockade. Lithuania is restricting rail and road traffic.
Kaliningrad, Russia does not share a land border with Russia. It is wedged between Lithuania and Poland with a border on the Baltic Sea.
Lithuania claims they have to restrict travel to fulfill the sanctions. Kaliningrad can now only transport goods by sea. Lithuania and the EU insist it’s not a blockade. A blockade is illegal under international law.
The Russian government has blasted Vilnius’ move as an “economic blockade.” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the decision unprecedented. He said it is in “violation of anything and everything.”
THE BRUTAL RESPONSE IS COMING
The head of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, vowed there would be a response to the ongoing “blockade.” He stated that Moscow will take unspecified actions.
“Of course, Russia will respond to hostile actions. Appropriate measures are in the works, and will be adopted in the near future,” Patrushev told reporters amid a visit to Kaliningrad on Tuesday. Moscow’s retaliation to Lithuania’s transport “blockade” of Russia’s Kaliningrad Region will seriously affect Lithuanian citizens, Nikolay Patrushev, the head of Russia’s Security Council, has said.
He added that the consequences of Moscow’s response will “have a serious negative impact on the people of Lithuania.”
On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry summoned the EU’s envoy to Russia, Markus Ederer. “We demanded that the normal functioning of the Kaliningrad transit is restored immediately,” the ministry said in a statement.
Russia accuses Lithuania of expanding the blockade.
IT WILL NEVER GO BACK TO NORMAL
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told NBC News on Monday that Russia would “never trust [the] West again.” Amid a historic severing of relations, Peskov is not the only top Russian official ruling out a return to normal.
Peskov told NBC that relations would stay icy for good.