Blockade of Kaliningrad: Lukashenko says Lithuania has declared war on Russia

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DENYS KARLOVSKYI — SATURDAY, 25 JUNE 2022, 18:56

Alexander Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, has said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the blockade on the transit of some goods to Kaliningrad is "akin to a declaration of war".

Source: Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, with reference to the meeting between Lukashenko and Putin

Quote from Lukashenko: "We are very concerned by the situation and the policy being pursued by our neighbours. You know in general terms: this is the leadership of Poland and the leadership of Lithuania. The policy [is aimed - UP] at confrontation… And there is enough of that, especially in Ukraine.

These days most of the mercenaries are from Poland. I don’t understand why they need this confrontation. But it’s clear that they are behind this and pushing it, and so on. But the policy is abhorrent and the behaviour is aggressive.

It’s the same with Lithuania. There is a growing flow of information about their plan to suspend transit from Russia through Belarus to Kaliningrad, to isolate Kaliningrad. Well, listen, that’s akin to a declaration of war! That sort of thing is unacceptable in the current conditions."

Details: The self-proclaimed President of Belarus added that he hopes for a tough and mirrored response from Russia to these "hostile actions" by Lithuania.

Putin assured him that Russia would provide the appropriate weapons for the Belarusian army to strengthen the so-called defence of the "Union State" [of Russia and Belarus] against the background of aggressive actions by the West.

Lukashenko arrived in Moscow on 24 June. He plans to hold talks with Putin during his visit.

Background:

  • Putin told Lukashenko that Russia would provide the Belarusian army with Iskander-M missile systems with all types of ammunition, including nuclear warheads.

  • Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on 25 June that there could be no concessions from the European Union regarding the transit of Russian goods to Kaliningrad.

  • MEP Petras Austravicius said that important discussions on the Kaliningrad transit had taken place in Brussels this week, and that there was a risk of concessions being made to Russia.

  • EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said the EU would review the legal aspects of the European Commission sanctions guidelines under which Lithuania had restricted transit to Kaliningrad.

  • Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned Lithuania that if they do not resume transit, Russia could take measures to protect its national interests. Lithuanian customs and border guards have stopped Russian trucks carrying EU-sanctioned goods from moving through Lithuania.