Russia vows 'serious' consequences over Lithuania rail transit ban

AFP , Tuesday 21 Jun 2022

Russia's security council chief Nikolai Patrushev on Tuesday warned EU and NATO member Lithuania of "serious" consequences over restrictions on the rail transit of EU-sanctioned goods to Moscow's exclave of Kaliningrad.

A photo taken by Ukrainian photographer Maxim Dondiuk is seen next to other photographs of Russia s war in Ukraine as part of an exhibition at the railway station in Vilnius, Lithuania, where transit trains from Moscow to Kaliningrad make a stop over, March 25, 2022. AFP


Moscow accused the Baltic nation of banning the rail transit of goods subject to sanctions imposed by the European Union over Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

"Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions," Patrushev said at a regional security meeting in Kaliningrad, a Russian region bordering Lithuania and Poland.

He added that "appropriate measures" are in the works and they "will be taken in the near future".

"Their consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania," he said in remarks reported by Russian news agencies.

Also on Tuesday, Russia's foreign ministry summoned the EU ambassador to Moscow, Markus Ederer, over the "anti-Russian restrictions" on cargo transit between Kaliningrad and mainland Russia.

"The inadmissibility of such actions, which violate the relevant legal and political obligations of the European Union and lead to an escalation of tensions, was pointed out," the ministry said in a statement.

Speaking after the meeting, Ederer said he called on the Russian side to "remain calm" and "resolve this issue diplomatically", TASS news agency reported.

Moscow has demanded that Lithuania immediately lift the restrictions, which Vilnius says were taken in compliance with European sanctions over Ukraine.

Wedged between EU and NATO members Lithuania and Poland, the heavily militarised exclave of Kaliningrad does not share a land border with Russia.

The region on the shores of the Baltic Sea is the base of Russia's Baltic Fleet and Moscow says it has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles there.

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