Author: Rong ping source: official account: Rong Ping (id:rongping898) has been authorized to reprint
Although the Russian Ukrainian battlefield is still in the midst of fierce exchanges of fire, it seems that the failure of the Ukrainian army is only a matter of time from the perspective of the front constantly pushing towards Kiev. Even the European and American countries that have been actively assisting Ukraine since the start of the war are now “stopping losses” in a timely manner, becoming more lip service than practical. However, just when the big countries in Europe and the United States wanted to exit, a small country took the initiative to challenge Russia. This country is Lithuania.
According to reports of RIA Novosti and other media, since June 18, Lithuania has blocked Kaliningrad, Russia’s “enclave”, and prohibited goods subject to EU sanctions from passing through Lithuanian territory to Kaliningrad. Originally, the goods were only blocked for railway transportation. After June 20, this sanction was extended to road transportation. Now Kaliningrad can only receive various goods from Russia by sea. Kaliningrad governor Anton arihanov said that the ban will affect half of all goods imported from the region, including cement and other building materials.
(Kaliningrad is at the red box)
The Russian side is very angry about this. The Russian Ministry of foreign affairs called Lithuania’s action “an open hostile act” and also stressed that if Lithuania is unable to resume freight transit transportation in Kaliningrad in the near future, Russia reserves the right to take action to protect its own interests.
Andre Klimov, chairman of the Committee for the protection of sovereignty of the Russian Federation Council, said that the EU must correct the blockade of Kaliningrad, or Russia will let go and solve the transit problem by “any means”. Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, was appointed to Kaliningrad for a meeting. At the meeting, he said that the Russian side would fight back against the “embargo” and make Lithuania “feel painful”.
In response to Russia’s response, the Lithuanian government said in the statement that the “embargo” is only a part of the EU sanctions against Russia, and passengers and goods not subject to the sanctions will not be affected to enter and leave Kaliningrad through Lithuania. According to CNN, Lithuanian President nauseda announced on the 22nd local time that Lithuania is ready to accept some form of “retaliation” from Russia, including cutting off Lithuania’s power grid. In addition, nauseda also said that he did not believe that Russia would challenge Lithuania militarily because “Lithuania is a member of NATO”.
(President nowseda of Lithuania)
By shifting the responsibility to the EU and drawing on NATO to endorse itself, Lithuania’s action immediately brought the two major European organizations into the water and directly challenged Russia, undoubtedly leveraging the situation with a small lever. So why would Lithuania prefer to block Kaliningrad against Russian sanctions? What gave it such courage? If we want to understand this problem, we must start with the gratitude and resentment between Lithuania and Russia.
Kaliningrad, formerly known as konisburg, has long been the center of science, culture and art in Germany, where the famous philosopher Kant settled. In order to prevent the resurgence of German fascist forces, the Potsdam Agreement signed in 1945 transferred the area to the Soviet Union. Later, in memory of Kaliningrad, the Soviet leader who died in 1946, Konigsberg was renamed Kaliningrad. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia changed a large number of cities named after famous figures of the Soviet era back to their original names, but Kaliningrad was not affected by this, leaving this time-honored name to this day. It is a rare ice free port in Russia and is now the headquarters of the Baltic Fleet
However, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Kaliningrad’s location became very unique. The independence of the three Baltic countries (namely Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) has made Kaliningrad completely lose its border with Russia, and Kaliningrad has therefore become the most famous enclave in the world. However, this has also created opportunities for the development of Kaliningrad. The Russian government is building Kaliningrad into a place similar to China’s special economic zone and has given Kaliningrad great tax incentives. To some extent, Kaliningrad is a window of Russia to Europe.
However, since it is an enclave, the land transportation between Kaliningrad and Russia will be affected by the three Baltic countries, especially after Lithuania joins the EU. Lithuania has been strictly guarding against Kaliningrad for a long time. If Kaliningrad residents want to go to Russia by land, they need to be checked by Lithuanian police many times during transit. This degree of trouble forces local residents to go to Russia by sea and air. As for goods that are difficult to transport by air or sea, we have to hold our noses and accept examination.
Lithuania’s aggressive and excessive inspection is totally unnecessary. Why would it rather offend its neighbor Russia? This may have something to do with its “devotee Mania”. During the Soviet period, Lithuania, as a member of the Soviet Union, received a lot of preferential policies and resources; However, in the wake of the drastic changes in Eastern Europe, he immediately turned a blind eye and actively complained to the West about the “darkness” of the Soviet Union. As a result, he won European sympathy and successfully joined the EU and NATO. His ability to steer the course of events is nowhere higher than that of Ukraine.
After joining these two organizations, how can we show our new partners that we have completely renounced our friendship with the Soviet Union? There is no doubt that only more anti Russian than them can prove their “innocence”, and the threat of traitors is often greater than that of the enemy.
The protracted war between Russia and Ukraine has made Europe feel tired. Many Europeans urgently hope that the war will end soon so that they can use cheap Russian natural gas. They also do not understand why a war between Russia and Ukraine will affect them. However, it is up to the United States to decide whether Europe is chaotic or not. How can a harmonious Europe let the United States “cut leeks”? Lithuania blockaded Kaliningrad at this time. It is hard to say that there was no American inspiration behind it.
Why do you say that? Because Lithuania picked this time node is very strange. In March and April, Europe and the United States showed the greatest support for Ukraine. At that time, various public opinions supporting Ukraine were overwhelming. Why didn’t Lithuania blockade Kaliningrad at that time and have to wait until late June when the matter has lost its attention? In addition, the EU does require Member States to impose sanctions on Russia, but there are not many countries that really take action. Even Germany, the leader of the EU, is still using Russian natural gas, but Lithuania, a small country, is anxious to jump out, which is obviously not normal.
The respective statements of the European Union and the United States also reflect this. According to media reports, on June 23 local time, the EU high representative for foreign and security policy Borrelli said that the EU has no intention of “blocking” Kaliningrad. After that, it will review the guidelines for sanctions against Russia to avoid blocking the traffic in and out of Kaliningrad.
It can be seen that the EU does not want to make this big, but the United States does not think so. A few days ago, US State Department spokesman price publicly stated that the United States supports Lithuania, reiterated the contents of Article 5 of the NATO convention, and stressed that any attack on any NATO member state would be regarded as an attack on all Member States.
In combination with the above, the United States is likely to play all these things behind Lithuania in order to intensify the relationship between the EU, NATO and Russia, and distract Russia’s energy so that it can reap the benefits.
This is not the first time that the United States has used this trick. Even Lithuania is not the first time that it has become the “white glove” of the United States. In August last year, Lithuania interfered in China’s internal affairs and openly violated the “one China” principle. For a time, there was a lot of uproar. That is why many people knew about Lithuania. Later, the United States played the “Taiwan card” in a big way, and there is no need for us to say more about the links. Lithuania seems to have a “relapse” this time.
It has to be admitted that this move of the United States can be regarded as “killing three people with two peaches”, which has successfully intensified the current situation. The response of all parties is enough to prove this. However, the possibility of turning into a war between Russia and NATO is not high.
After the incident, the Russian side reacted fiercely. On the one hand, it is impossible for a big country like Russia to accept the blockade of Lithuania. At present, the Russian people are excited about it, and the Russian government must make a strong response. On the other hand, Kaliningrad’s strategy has already been mentioned above. Just relying on the unfrozen port and the Baltic Fleet garrison is enough to make Russia nervous, not to mention that Kaliningrad is still a window for Russia’s foreign economy.
But Russia also has no good way to take Lithuania. Lithuania is the first country in Europe to stop using Russian oil and natural gas this year. At present, only a small part of the power supply depends on Russia. It is not difficult to fill this gap. Sanctions against Lithuania through energy channels have little effect, and Lithuania and Russia have no other economic exchanges. After Lithuania provoked China last year, China also faced such a problem. Lithuania has little economic and trade exchanges with China and Russia, and it is difficult to impose sanctions.
Some people believe that Russia still has the card of “special military action” to play, one or two, and simply win Lithuania together. This is actually provoking a war between Russia and NATO, which is not possible militarily. If Russia takes military action against Lithuania, NATO will not retreat. It must be tit for tat. Otherwise, what is the prestige of NATO and the status of the United States? This is a real world war. However, the vast majority of the Russian military’s mobile forces are now in eastern Ukraine, and only a dozen battalion level battle groups defend Moscow. This is not a deployment to start a war with NATO at all. When Russia begins to recruit reserves and combat troops to Belarus, it is possible to start a war. This is certainly not something Russia will consider at present.
Politically speaking, sending troops to Ukraine is well-known, but is there any valid reason to send troops to Lithuania? Kaliningrad is an enclave. Lithuania’s blockade of the border is reasonable in legal theory. I’m afraid no country in the world will support Russia at that time.
For the United States, the degree of provocation against Russia is just right, and they dare not risk crossing the red line. If the United States can bear the consequences of war with Russia, the United States can start at any time in the 30 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Why wait until now. Lithuania provoked Russia against the background of its NATO member countries. The United States is very clear about this. Biden has repeatedly asked his officials to be cautious. For this reason, he also criticized the Secretary of state and the Secretary of defense.
Moreover, the U.S. strategy is obviously shifting its focus. The highlights of Biden’s recent visits are Japan and South Korea in Asia, Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, and Europe has not been favored by Biden for a long time. Now it is only a routine to support Lithuania behind its back. It is not really intended to spend time with Russia in Europe.
At present, neither Putin nor Biden has commented on the matter, and the EU has just put forward a spokesman, which obviously does not want to make things bigger. It can also be concluded that the matter will not be resolved militarily in the end, but that Lithuania and Russia will step back to cover up the past, and there will be results as soon as this month.
At the end of the article, the author has something to say
This incident also provides a certain reference for China to solve similar problems in the future. Inciting small countries to provoke their opponents is a very skillful means used by the United States during the cold war. It is equivalent to a certain “fighting method” in the diplomatic field, which can neither be overreacted nor unresponsive. Overreaction can easily lead to strategic miscalculation and escalate the situation. At the same time, it has little effect; No response will make people feel weak and deceiving, and will only worsen in the end.
And this situation will appear more in the future. Under the background that the next industrial revolution has been delayed, countries around the world are actually sharing the cake rather than making it bigger. The more China develops, the bigger the cake will be. This will inevitably occupy the development space of other countries and lead to their hostility. For example, in the new energy vehicle race track, Chinese enterprises have occupied the first mover advantage and successfully ranked among the world’s first-class level. However, Germany, a traditional automobile manufacturing country, is not optimistic in the field of new energy vehicles, and it is almost slow step by step. The honeymoon period between China and Germany is exactly the time for German automobile brands to enter the Chinese market on a large scale. This is true even for large countries like Germany, not to mention those small countries with a single industrial chain. They cannot resist the “Matthew effect” produced by China’s development.
The best way to solve such a problem is to rely on diplomatic wisdom. We should not always advocate that swordsmen meet each other. Otherwise, not only will the gains outweigh the losses, but it is also easy to lose ground. Winning the world at once does not mean being able to rule the world at once. How to make more friends and fewer enemies is a question that must be considered in the future. Lithuania has given us a problem in this field. Maybe Russia can give us some reference on how to solve the problem.