For this “enclave”, Russia issued an “ultimatum”!

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“This is an open hostile act! Russia reserves the right to take action to protect its national interests.” In response to Lithuania’s practice, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson zaharova made such a statement on June 20 local time, which was interpreted by some media as an “ultimatum”.


Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council: Russian satellite news agency

Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, said that if Lithuania persists, Russia will respond as quickly as possible, and Lithuania will truly feel the consequences of Russia’s measures!

Why is Russia targeting Lithuania? The reason is that since June 18, Lithuania has banned the transit of some Russian goods subject to EU sanctions. However, the only railway between the Russian mainland and its enclave Kaliningrad passes through Lithuania and is operated by the Lithuanian railway company.

Wen Haike

This article is reproduced from the wechat official account “unclehistalk” of Xinmin weekly. The original version was first published on June 22, 2022. The original title was “for the enclave of Kaliningrad, Russia will fight with Lithuania…”.

There is no doubt that the railway crossing Lithuania is the throat of Russia. Whether it is accessible or not is crucial to whether Russia can safely control Kaliningrad.

Kaliningrad is an enclave of the Russian Federation

For quite a long time after World War II, Lithuania became a member Republic of the Soviet Union.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the three Baltic countries became independent, and Russia and Russia were separated. However, there is an agreement between Russia and Lithuania, and Lithuania must ensure smooth traffic between Russia and Kaliningrad.

Of course, since Lithuania joined

EU, slightly changed——

Russia and the European Union signed a joint statement on transit between Kaliningrad and other territories of the Russian Federation.

According to this statement, Lithuania should also allow Russian trains to pass through its territory. The problem is that the EU has imposed sanctions on Russia because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Among them, there are provisions restricting the transit of some Russian materials through the EU, mainly including coal, metals, building materials and advanced technologies. The Russian side said that the ban would cover about 50% of the goods “imported” from Kaliningrad.

Who is in the way of the Russian side transporting materials from other territories of the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad? Still “imported”? It’s getting in the way of the EU. After all, its goods and materials are transported to Kaliningrad and have to transit through Lithuania, which belongs to the EU.

Now Lithuania has blocked the transit of some Russian goods, which makes Russia feel that the West has inserted a “knife” into Russia.


Lithuania says sanctions against Kaliningrad are effective picture: screenshot of Reuters report

All these circumstances make it impossible for Russia to sit idly by and watch Lithuania’s practice. Therefore, Russia is bound to take drastic measures. This is why yevgenyfeodorov, a Russian congressman, claimed that Lithuania’s independence from the Soviet Union was illegal.

Today, the Russian “Communist Youth League Pravda” publishes the article “five possible attacks on Lithuania” by journalist Yevgeny umeliankov——

First, withdraw the recognition of Lithuania’s independence.

Second, withdraw from the agreement with the EU on Lithuania.

Third, Russia demanded the recovery of kleipeda. This place is a bit like Crimea – in those days, within the Soviet Union, the central government of Moscow designated Crimea from Russia to Ukraine; Meimer was transferred from Russia to Lithuania and renamed kleipeda, which is the only sea port of Lithuania, the so-called Baltic Sea country.

Fourth, establish the “suwauki corridor”. That is to say, it will open up a land channel of about 100 kilometers between Lithuania and Poland, connecting Belarus and Kaliningrad. Anyway, now that Russia and Belarus are integrated, it takes a little cost and labor to open this channel.

Fifthly, cut off the connection between Lithuania and the energy system. The three Baltic countries have long declared that they hope to get rid of the “energy circle of Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania” (Brell) by fully integrating into the EU energy system. It also said that this would happen in 2025. However, let alone the three countries, namely Germany, France and other countries in Europe, can they not completely rely on Russian energy? Since Lithuania wants to get rid of energy dependence, Russia can accomplish it ahead of time.

Extended reading

The Lithuanian operation completely angered Russia!

This article is reproduced from the wechat official account “China News Network” (id:cns2012). The original version was first published on June 21, 2022, and the original title was “Lithuania’s operation has completely angered Russia!”, The original text is partially abridged.


Lithuania said the sanctions on freight transportation in Kaliningrad state of Russia came into effect. Photo source: screenshot of Reuters report


How big is the impact?

Every month, about 100 trains enter Lithuania from Belarus and go to Kaliningrad via Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

After Lithuania took measures, Kaliningrad authorities responded. The head of the Information Office of the state government, Leskov, pointed out that since the railway can not go through, it should go by water instead.

“We will consider ferries and overall water transport routes to redistribute the transport chain of these commodities,” he added. There will be no shortage of commodities. Kaliningrad authorities are trying to solve the problem together with the Federal Center.

Moreover, the Kaliningrad authorities are discussing three response plans, which may affect the transport complex of the Baltic States.


“Enclave” is very important

As an enclave of Russia in the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad is located in the westernmost part of the country, bordering Poland in the south, and Lithuania in the northeast and East.

It is only 400 kilometers from Kaliningrad to Warsaw. Whether it is Berlin, Copenhagen or Stockholm, the distance is about 600 kilometers.

In 1945, Kaliningrad was transferred to the Soviet Union according to the Potsdam Agreement. As an important strategic fulcrum in the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad not only has the Baltic Fleet, one of Russia’s four major fleets, stationed there. Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia may also deploy “dagger” hypersonic missiles and other heavy weapons there to respond to NATO’s approaching step by step.

It is precisely because it is not connected with the Russian mainland that Kaliningrad wants to receive materials from the Russian mainland. The only railway route is through Lithuania.


The Russian side is very angry

The interruption of some cargo transportation in Kaliningrad has made Russia very angry. Kaliningrad governor Ali khanov accused Lithuania of “illegal” and “will bring long-term consequences to the EU”.

He warned:

First, if you don’t follow the rules in Lithuania, the consequences will be very serious. Moreover, our counteraction will make you “extremely painful”. Second, according to the agreement, you could have taken the “toll” in Lithuania, but now you can’t make any more money. Third, Lithuania said that it would listen to the EU arrangement and that it could be solved as long as the European Commission revised the EU sanctions plan. The EU has a lot to do with this.

On the 20th local time, the Russian Foreign Ministry protested that Lithuania’s “blatant hostility” violated international legal obligations, especially a 2002 statement.

The statement was signed by Russia and the European Union as Lithuania seeks to join NATO. The main content is about the transit between Kaliningrad and other regions of the Russian Federation. On 1 July 2003, the simplified transit mechanism became operational until it was interrupted by Lithuania.

According to Peskov, press secretary of the Russian President, Lithuania’s practice this time is “unprecedented” and “violates all laws and norms”, which is quite serious.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also summoned the pro tempore Office of the people’s Republic of China in Russia, Viktor wimbrachene, and the EU ambassador to Russia edrell, to express strong protest against Lithuania’s move and demand that the restrictions be lifted. Russia said it reserved the right to take action to protect itself.

As for what kind of action?

Klimov, chairman of the Committee for the protection of sovereignty of the Russian Federal Council, warned that the blockade of Kaliningrad was regarded as “direct aggression” and would force Russia to “resort to self-defense” and “let go of its hands and feet to solve the problem by any means”.


Lithuanian “compensation”

After the Russian side summoned the Russian charg é d’affaires in anger, the Lithuanian Ministry of foreign affairs also summoned the Russian charg é d’affaires in Lithuania on the same day, saying that “the information is wrong”.

Lithuania’s so quick? and be not so.

First, it stressed that it had not implemented “unilateral, individual and additional” restrictive measures. According to foreign minister ranzbergis, “this decision was made after consultation with the European Commission.” In other words, I am “acting under orders”.

Seeing that Moscow is angry, this “big pot” must be carried by the EU!

Secondly, Lithuania stated that this was a partial restriction. We do not have an all-round blockade, and passengers and goods that are not subject to sanctions pass through as usual, such as… The oil urgently needed in Europe.

What you want is grace, and what you don’t want is embargo. A good move is “selective blockade”.

Thirdly, why do you suddenly say “no” without saying “hello”, because EU sanctions have “different transition periods and deadlines”, just in time.

According to the fourth round of EU sanctions plan, the restrictive measures on Russian steel and other ferrous metal products took effect on June 17.

The EU high representative for foreign and security policy Borrelli also defended Lithuania, saying that the country did not adopt any unilateral national restrictions, only implemented EU sanctions, and it was “innocent”.

In this regard, slotsky, an official of the Russian State Duma, strongly criticized that EU officials in Brussels “do not care about Kaliningrad… Nor about the lives of Donbas residents”. The blockade of Kaliningrad is an act of “shamelessness and hypocrisy”.


It has long been a bridgehead against Russia

Lithuania has long been recognized as an anti Russian “bridgehead” in the European continent. This time, it came out to defend, but it did not rule out its fear that the Russian side would launch an attack from Kaliningrad in a fit of anger and burn itself.

It can be seen from several signs that Lithuania is implementing “de Russification” in a planned and step-by-step way.

On June 2, the Lithuanian parliament proposed a draft law on “de ussurization” of public space, including the removal of Soviet era monuments and the renaming of road names.

On May 22, Lithuania stopped importing electricity from Russia. Litgrid, the country’s transmission system operator, pointed out that the country has been reducing Russia’s power imports in recent years.

In 2021, Russian electricity accounted for 17% of the total electricity import and 16% of the total electricity consumption. After “power failure”, Lithuania’s power demand will be guaranteed through transmission with Sweden, Poland and Latvia.

On May 10, the Lithuanian parliament passed a resolution accusing the Russian armed forces and mercenaries of “committing war crimes” in Ukraine and identifying Russia as a “state that supports and implements terrorism”.

On April 4, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia, asked the Russian ambassador to Lithuania to leave the country, and closed the Russian Consulate General in kleipeda city.

In fact, since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Lithuania has begun to expel Russian diplomats.

The Baltic three countries, including Lithuania, have long regarded Russia as a security threat, and their only hope is to be protected by the US led NATO.

So whatever Lithuania does, the logic behind it is the same. It is difficult for a small country trapped in the illusion of “fear of Russia” to clear the fog and recognize the importance and necessity of maintaining diplomatic independence by itself.

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