Lithuania not interested in escalation of tensions with Russia: PM
The Lithuanian PM claimed that the trilateral agreement between Vilnius, Moscow, and the EU on the movement of passengers still works.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said that her country is not interested in escalating tensions with Russia.
During a speech aired on the LRT broadcaster, Simonyte pointed out that the trilateral agreement between Vilnius, Moscow, and the EU on the movement of passengers still works.
The Lithuanian Prime Minister claimed that "There is no blockade of Kaliningrad ... Transportation [of goods not under sanctions] will continue, as well as the transit of passengers, in respect of which we have a tripartite agreement between the European Union, the Russian Federation and Lithuania."
"Let me stress once again that Lithuania is implementing the EU sanctions that were adopted in mid-March. We definitely never had a goal to escalate anything," she mentioned.
The prime minister also said that there are exceptions in the sanctions regulations for humanitarian goods, and their transportation can not be restricted.
Russia warns Lithuania of serious consequences
In a related context, Moscow warned Lithuania of "serious" consequences on Tuesday over its restriction of rail traffic to Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.
Moscow summoned the EU's ambassador to Russia, and the Russian foreign ministry affirmed that Lithuania's actions "violate the relevant legal and political obligations of the European Union."
Moscow lodges protest over Lithuania decision
State-owned Lithuanian Railways halted cargo transit between Russia and its Baltic Sea area on Friday at midnight, citing EU limitations. According to the region's officials, up to 50% of all rail goods to Kaliningrad have been banned.
In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement that Moscow had lodged a protest to the Lithuanian charge d'affaires in Russia in connection with the decision of Vilnius to ban rail cargo transit to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
The Ministry also summoned the Lithuanian charge d'affaires earlier in the day.
It underscored that "the head of the diplomatic mission was strongly protested in connection with the ban on the rail transit of a large range of goods through the territory of Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region, imposed by Vilnius without prior notification of the Russian side."
"We demanded the immediate lifting of these restrictions," the Russian statement affirmed, adding that Russia regards the actions of Lithuania as openly hostile and in violation of the international obligations of Vilnius.
Lithuania's move to prohibit rail goods transit to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad is unprecedented, considered Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who described it as a "violation of everything."