The Lithuanian decision, which includes shipments of steel, coal and construction materials to the Russian enclave, will go into effect on Saturday.
According to the country’s authorities, they only follow the rules of EU sanctions against Russia. According to Gabrilius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the decision was settled with the European Commission.
Kaliningrad is located between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, and therefore depends on imports. According to the region’s Russian governor Anton Alikhanov, Lithuania’s decision affects up to 50 percent of all goods currently imported by the Russian enclave through Lithuania, according to Reuters.
He also says that it is possible to overcome the problem with the help of sea transportation.
Russia is preparing countermeasures
The Russian government responded forcefully to the decision, which it described as illegal and openly hostile.
The situation is far from dangerous. Resolution has no equivalent. It is a crime against everything,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference.
The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the chief envoy of Lithuania and the European Union ambassador.
“If the transport of goods between Kaliningrad and the rest of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not fully restored in the near future, Russia will take the right to take measures to defend its national interests.” The State Department wrote in a statement, according to Reuters.
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