Lithuania has backed down on the blockade of the Russian exclave Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea after pressure from the Kremlin which threatened ‘serious measures’.
Kaliningrad is now armed with nuclear-capable Iskander missiles and sandwiched between NATO members on the northern NATO flank.
Although Russia was able to supply the region via seaport, the overland transfer of some goods through Lithuania, a former member of the Soviet Union, was restricted for the last several weeks.
Pressure from the EU changed the situation, according to reports.
Lithuania will allow sanctioned Russian goods to pass through their territory to Kaliningrad after pressure from the EU, wrote the private intelligence firm Inkermann.
The European Commission issued its legal guidance on the standoff Wednesday, which had over the past month resulted in some one million Russian citizens in the exclave remaining cut off from products brought by rail and road. “The transit of sanctioned goods by road with Russian operators is not allowed under the EU measures. No such similar prohibition exists for rail transport,” the European Union executive said, specifying that Russian goods should continue to be allowed by train, reported Zero Hedge.
“They published a decision yesterday, I mean, the European Commission, or, rather, not even a decision but guidance. It lifts restrictions on a certain range of products, goods that are transported [to the Kaliningrad Region] via rail. Actually, we commented on this yesterday, and we still think that this is a display of realism and common sense. <…> We are shaping a position,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Maria Zakharova told the Soloviev Live TV channel on Thursday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“It seems to me that they realized that the situation had already come to a dead end, and it is very dangerous and explosive,” the spokeswoman said.
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