The Lithuanian president guarantees that the country is expecting some kind of Russian retaliation in response to the blockade of the traffic of certain products through its territory that were destined for Kaliningrad, as was foreseen in the last package of sanctions of the European Union.
However, the Lithuanian official believes that Russia will not have any kind of military response because the country is part of NATO. Nauseda continues to defend the decision to block the traffic of some goods to Kaliningrad because it was a decision implemented at the level of the entire European Union.
“We are ready and prepared for any kind of hostile actions on the Russian side, such as the disconnection of the BRELL system or other actions. I do not believe that Russia will challenge us in a military sense because we are members of NATO,” Gitanas Nauseda told Reuters.
The Lithuanian president adds that the country is prepared to be disconnected from the BRELL system, the energy transmission system that links Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, Estonia, and Latvia.
Russia had previously threatened Lithuania with “serious consequences” over the blockade of Kaliningrad. It should be noted that the fifth article of NATO states that an attack on one country is an attack on all, which is why any Russian military action against Lithuania would imply the activation of this article and the involvement of other nations.
What is the Kaliningrad enclave and why is it important?
Russia reacted with threats after Lithuania banned the passage of sanctioned goods through its territory and Kaliningrad. This enclave is strategically important on the Baltic coast and could soon be dragged into the Kremlin war.
Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania that was captured from the Nazis by Soviet troops in April 1945. It later became part of Soviet territory as a result of the Potsdam Agreement. In 1946, it lost the German name Königsberg and became Kaliningrad.
For decades it was a heavily militarized region, closed to foreigners. But in recent years, Kaliningrad has become an emerging tourist destination and hosted games during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It has a population of around one million people, most of whom live in or near the capital of the same name. The enclave is one of Russia’s most prosperous regions, with extensive industry. The port of Baltiysk is the westernmost port in Russian territory and, extremely importantly, it is ice-free all year round.
The streets of the main city are lined with great examples of old German architecture alongside the gloomy Soviet apartment buildings.
Source: With Agencies