Conflicts & War

Russia calls on EU, Nato not to stir up tensions with Kaliningrad blockade

Moscow, Jun 22 (EFE).- Russia on Wednesday called on the European Union and Nato to avoid stoking already simmering tensions with the partial blockade of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

“I would like to alert Nato members and EU politicians to this dangerous rhetoric regarding the conflict,” Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

Ryabkov made these remarks in response to comments by the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who said that the Nato could apply Article 5 in Lithuania, which sits between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia.

The US diplomat expressed his country’s support for Nato and Lithuania, which alongside Poland, borders the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea.

“We stand by our Nato allies and we stand by Lithuania,” Price said, adding that an attack on the country would be considered “an attack on all” members of the alliance according to Nato’s Article 5.

“Unfortunately in the West, there are forces with a lot of influence and with access to power that do everything possible to continue to stir up tensions with Russia. It is an alarming fact,” Ryabkov said.

“The limitations on transit to Kaliningrad imposed by the EU and Lithuania represent a serious blow against the foundations of the European architecture, which existed for a long time,” he said, adding that retaliatory measures are in the works.

The foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, announced on Wednesday that the Russian response “will not be in the diplomatic dimension. They will be practical.”

Kaliningrad is an exclave that is cut off from the rest of Russia and borders two European Union and Nato countries, Lithuania and Poland.

When Lithuania joined the EU after signing an agreement in 2004, it agreed to allow civilian and military transit traffic between the exclave and Russia through Lithuanian territory.

The Lithuanian authorities made the decision to restrict rail traffic through its territory in the direction of Kaliningrad starting Saturday, as part of the EU sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. EFE


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