Lithuania’s strong response to Russia’s threats over Kaliningrad: “It’s a lie”.

Russia continues to raise tension and today threatened Lithuania with a “practical” response and measures that will have a “serious negative impact.” Moscow justifies its warnings as a response to an alleged blockade of Kaliningrad by Vilnius. However, the country’s prime minister, Ingrida Šimonytė, wanted to respond to the Kremlin on the Kaliningrad transit.

Thus, Šimonytė assures sharply that first of all, “any Russian statement about the blockade of Kaliningrad is a lie”.

Secondly, the Lithuanian Prime Minister asserts that “Lithuania is complying with the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia for its aggression and war against Ukraine”.

The “premier” also stresses that thirdly, “after a three-month transitional period, EU sanctions on steel and ferrous metals transported through EU territory came into force last weekend”. In other words, Russia has been warned about this possibility for more than three months.

Fourth, Šimonytė explains that “the sanctions were agreed by all EU member states on March 15.” In short, it is not a unilateral decision of her government.

The Lithuanian Prime Minister also provides data in an attempt to curb Russian propaganda. And that is that, fifthly, “steel and ferrous metal products account for only about 1% of the total rail freight to Kaliningrad through Lithuania”.

The sixth point that Šimonytė wanted to clarify is that the rest of the goods needed by the inhabitants of the Kaliningrad region are being transported: “Food, pharmaceuticals, etc. Passenger transit is also taking place, under a special agreement between the EU, Russia and Lithuania.”

“The transit of unsanctioned passengers and goods to and from the Kaliningrad region through Lithuania continues uninterrupted,” the prime minister insists.

In conclusion, Šimonytė states that “Lithuania has not imposed any unilateral, individual or additional restrictions on transit. Lithuania consistently implements EU sanctions, which have different transition periods and effective dates.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the EU has adopted several sanctions packages against Moscow. From the Lithuanian government they stress that the restrictive measures that came into force on June 17 correspond to the fourth EU sanctions package, which was adopted on March 15, 2022. “The EU restrictive measures on imports and transit through the EU of Russian products of steel and other ferrous metals definitely entered into force on June 17, 2022″, they remind.

“Lithuania implements the EU restrictive measures in accordance with EU legislation and in consultation with the European Commission and on the basis of its assessments,” they conclude

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