Russia warns Lithuania over rail “blockade”
June 22, 2022 - Russia has threatened to retaliate after Lithuania banned the rail transfer of some goods to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad, in compliance with EU sanctions.
The Russian territory of Kaliningrad, home to Russia’s Baltic fleet, is facing an embargo on certain goods being delivered by rail, following Lithuania’s decision to comply with EU sanctions.
Russia has warned Lithuania of serious consequences for its actions, which will see the banning of rail deliveries of around 50% of items that Kaliningrad imports – such as iron, steel and luxury goods.
Lithuania controls the only overland rail route linking Kaliningrad with mainland Russia, but says the route would remain open for passengers and non-sanctioned goods.
EU sanctions have isolated the region, forcing Russian planes to make detours over the Baltic Sea because of a ban on using the bloc’s airspace.
Kaliningrad, with a population of around one million people, is a strategic Russian region with no border with mainland Russia. It relies heavily on imports of raw materials and spare parts from Russia and the EU.