Lithuania Enforces EU Sanctions on Kaliningrad and Putin's Toadies Lose Their Minds

A long-expected flashpoint in Putin’s War just got a lot flashier. The Russian oblast of Kaliningrad is the home port, and only warm water port, of Russia’s Baltic Fleet. Until 1945, it was German territory with its capital in Koenigsberg. The territory was given to the USSR at the end of World War II despite the USSR having no valid historical claim to the territory. Koenigsberg became Kaliningrad, German residents were ethnically cleansed by the USSR, and Russian colonists settled.


Even though Kaliningrad can only be reached by land from Russia by transiting either Poland or Lithuania (70% of all traffic from Russia to Kaliningrad is via train), until Monday, Russia had been allowed to ship EU-sanctioned goods in and out of Kaliningrad by rail. That has changed. The Russians aren’t happy.

Russian authorities on Monday threatened Lithuania, a member of NATO, with retaliation if the Baltic country does not swiftly reverse its ban on the transportation of some goods to Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad by rail.

Citing instructions from the European Union, Lithuania’s railway on Friday said it was halting the movement of goods from Russia that have been sanctioned by the European bloc.

Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, told reporters the situation was “more than serious.” He called the new restrictions “an element of a blockade” of the region and a “violation of everything.”

Accustomed to Russian threats, officials in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, took Moscow’s warnings as mostly bluster — the latest in a series of increasingly intemperate statements by a country that is severely stretched militarily by its invasion of Ukraine.

“We are not particularly worried about Russian threats,” said Lauynas Kasciunas, chairman of the Lithuanian Parliament’s national security and defense committee. “The Kremlin has very few options for how to retaliate.”

Two things to keep in mind. Pro-Putin sites like ZeroHedge are portraying the action as a “blockade” and claiming it “implemented a ban on all rail transit goods going to Russia’s far-western exclave of Kaliningrad.” This is a rather in-your-face, egregious lie that stands out even amid ZeroHedge’s record of in-your-face and egregious lies. The only rail shipments affected are those of goods the EU has already sanctioned. All Lithuania is doing is following the same rules as the rest of Europe.


Kaliningrad generates 100% of its own power and has access to Russia’s gas pipeline to Europe. The sanctions don’t affect food, medicine, or medical supplies. But it does stop shipments of vodka. So the health and safety of Kaliningrad’s residents aren’t at risk, but it has become a lot less fun to live there. In addition, it will directly impact the ability of Russia’s Baltic Fleet to operate until Russia can set up a sea line of communication with enough ships to keep the place running.

ZeroHedge also claims this action “marks a complete break in a three decade long treaty that’s been in effect.” Again, another lie that is quickly put to rest by use of the little-known technique of reading. The treaty ZeroHedge references is below. It does not cover the sanctioned items, and it doesn’t even cover rail traffic.

Russia Lithuania Treaty on Kaliningrad by streiff on Scribd

I really hope these people are getting paid a lot of money for propagandizing for Putin. It would be a shame if they were beclowning themselves for free.

Vladimir Putin is, in his own words, on a mission to return to Russian control lands he thinks are rightfully Russia’s, regardless of what the citizens of the targeted nations wish. A week ago, in a speech commemorating the 350th birthday of Czar Peter the Great, he specifically likened his war in Ukraine and potential future wars against neighbors to the Great Northern War (1700-1721).


“Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years,” Putin said after visiting an exhibit in Peter’s honor. “It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned [what was Russia’s].”

The Russian president then alluded to the ongoing “special operation” in Ukraine, which he and his state’s propaganda arms have also cast as war of restoration and return — no matter that the sovereignty-violating invasion marks a grievous breach of international law and has led to many billions of dollars in damage to Ukraine’s towns and cities, the deaths of thousands of people and disruptions to the global economy that imperil millions more.

“What was [Peter] doing?” Putin said. “Taking back and reinforcing. That’s what he did. And it looks like it fell on us to take back and reinforce as well.”

Lithuania is one of those territories Putin wants to return to Russian control. That’s why they are paying attention.

Despite what the Putin fluffers and panty-wetters mewling that this is potentially the beginning of World War III,


it isn’t. Russia isn’t going to war over drunken and AIDS-riddled Russians in Kaliningrad not getting their vodka. The lessons Russia is learning from this criminal misadventure they are perpetrating, though, may prevent a larger war in the future.


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