Kaliningrad blockade: the most serious crisis between the EU and Russia erupts

(To David Rossi)
20/06/22

Lithuania has begun to ban rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the Baltic nation's transport authorities said on June 18. The EU sanctions list includes coal, metals, building materials and advanced technology.

According to Anton Alikhanov, the governor of the Russian oblast, the ban will cover about 50% of the items imported from Kaliningrad: since the region has a port that is not normally blocked by ice during the winter, Russia will have to resort to transport. naval. This is not an impromptu initiative of the Lithuanian government: at the request of Vilnius, the commission had clarified in recent days that the goods subject to sanctions should still be prohibited even if they travel from one part of Russia to another but through the territory of 'EU.

The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea, sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, became part of the Soviet Union after the Second World War. It has a population of around 430.000 and is home to the headquarters of the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet.

In the last few hours, the head of the Russian Federation Commission for the Protection of Sovereignty Andrii Klymov went down hard: “NATO - He said - the blockade of the Russian region begins with the help of Lithuania: it is a direct aggression against Russia, which forces us to resort to self-defense. " He then called for the intervention of the United Nations, which - according to him - "They must rectify the situation with the blockade of Kaliningrad, otherwise Russia will be free to resolve the transit issue in any way".

We recall that in recent days the Russian State Duma, that is the parliament, had begun to discuss the repeal of the Russian recognition of the independence of Lithuania, probably without considering the possible consequences. According to some Russian politicians, the Duma could later revoke the recognition of independence also to Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine. “Once the mechanism is developed, we can also use it against other NATO territories. And not just NATO "Fedorov, a deputy from the United Russia party, said in an interview with one of the Baltic editions of Sputnik.

In the meantime, the population of the westernmost oblast of the Russian Federation fears for everyday spending.

The crisis also has important geostrategic repercussions: it confirms the doubts, which we already expressed before February 24 (see article), on the actual possibility of supplying Kaliningrad not only with coal, but also with missiles, armaments and related spare parts, even more so now that the Swedish island of Gotland it is under the Anglo-American umbrella, even before that of NATO.

Photo: US Special Operations Command Europe

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