Russia is Furious with the EU over the Suspended Transit through Lithuania to Kaliningrad
Russia has summoned the European Union's ambassador today in open anger at the suspension on Saturday of the transit of sanctioned goods through Lithuania to the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, world news agencies reported.
Russia called the measure an "illegal blockade" and threatened retaliation against Lithuania, Reuters reported.
EU Ambassador Markus Ederer appeared at Russia's foreign ministry today, the agency said. Peter Stano, a spokesman for the European diplomatic service, said Ederer "has explained that Lithuania is applying EU sanctions and that there is no blockade".
The diplomat called on Russia to "refrain from escalation steps and rhetoric," the spokesman said.
However, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said that "Russia will certainly react to such hostile actions," Interfax reported.
"The relevant measures are being developed in an interdepartmental format and will be adopted in the near future. Their consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania," he was quoted as saying.
The diplomatic crisis is over Kaliningrad, a port on the Baltic Sea and the surrounding area where almost a million Russians live. They are connected to Russia by rail via EU and NATO member Lithuania.
Lithuania closed this route to major goods subject to European sanctions over Russia's war in Ukraine, such as construction materials, metals and coal.
The ban affects half of the nomenclature of transit so far, writes the Ukrainian information site NV.
In early June, the European Union adopted the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, expanding the list of individuals and organizations subject to restrictions on exports of dual-use goods and technologies. In addition, the list of goods and technologies that can contribute to the technological improvement of the Russian defense and security sector has been expanded. It included 80 chemicals that could be used to make chemical weapons.
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