Russia threatens retaliation as Lithuania bans goods transit to Kaliningrad,

Russia has provoked concern in Brussels after threatening to retaliate over Lithuania’s ban on the transit of some goods across its territory to Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad.

The move by the government in Vilnius was described as “unprecedented” in Moscow, where the Russian foreign office said they reserved the right to respond to protect their national interest.

The comments set off alarm bells in Brussels, where the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Lithuania was simply enforcing the bloc’s sanctions regime. He added, however, that he was concerned by the risk of retaliation and that he would check that all the rules were being followed, while accusing the Kremlin of peddling propaganda. […]

However, after a meeting in Brussels, Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said Moscow was spreading false information and that the state railway service was acting lawfully by merely implementing the EU’s sanctions regime prohibiting the supply of steel or goods made from iron ore to Russia.

Landsbergis said that under half of the goods usually supplied by transiting across Lithuania would be covered by the sanctions regime over time, with the ban on steel coming into force on 17 June.

“I think there was some false information, not for the first time, announced by the Russian authorities, but I’m glad that we have a chance to explain this,” he said. “At this point, about slightly less than half of goods that transit Lithuania are on the sanctions list, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are under sanctions right now. Läs artikel