Russia says Lithuania violates a 2002 Joint Statement: it is not true

The reason for the blockade of Kaliningrad by Lithuania and the lies of Russia about it

Last Saturday, the Republic of Lithuania began a blockade on the passage of certain goods by rail between Russia and Kaliningrad.

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The reason for the Lithuanian blockade: it is complying with EU sanctions

This blockade was announced by Lithuania on Saturday in compliance with the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia. “The EU sanctions list notably includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology,” Reuters reported on Friday. Thus, this blockade affects the transit of these goods. The blockade is not imposed on the transit of travelers or food, as some pro-Russian propagandists have claimed in recent hours. It should also be remembered that the railway is not the only way that Russia has of transporting these goods between that exclave and the rest of its territory. Kaliningrad has a major ice-free port year-round, so Russia has the option of shipping what it can’t by rail.

Russia threatens Lithuania with “retaliation”: it would have to face the entire NATO

As expected, Russia has threatened Lithuania with retaliation, threats that the Kremlin should carefully measure, since Lithuania is a member of NATO and any attack against that country would imply going to war with the entire Atlantic Alliance. This must be remembered in order to begin to put in its place the rhetoric of bullying in which the Putin regime has installed itself.

Russia says Lithuania violates 2002 Joint Statement

On the other hand, this noon the official Russian agency Tass has indicated that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers the Lithuanian bloc to be “hostile” to these goods, and affirms that this blockade “violates” the Joint Declaration of the Russian Federation and the Union Union on transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation, 2002.

That Declaration was about passengers, not about goods

That affirmation is one more lie from the Kremlin, a regime that lives installed in the systematic resort to lies as a weapon of propaganda and intoxication. The aforementioned joint statement can be read on the website of the European Union (see PDF). In the text there are two points dedicated to rail traffic (2 and 7) but they refer exclusively to passenger traffic, and also make clear the right of Lithuania to exercise the necessary controls on access to its territory:

“The Russian Federation and the European Union note that from 1 January 2003 the Republic of Lithuania will, according to its agreement with the EU, implement national regulations for border control. The parties understand that these rules shall be applied in a flexible manner in order not to disrupt the traditional flow of transit passengers by rail. The parties recognise that the transit regime will not infringe upon the sovereign right of the Republic of Lithuania to exercise the necessary controls and to refuse entry into its territory.

Thus, Russia is lying when it says that Lithuania violates a treaty on the transit of passengers in a matter of transit of goods.

The hoax that Russia conditions the borders of Lithuania to a land corridor

On the other hand, pro-Russian propagandists, as always responding to the slogans sent to them, are circulating the claim that Russia recognized Lithuania’s borders on the condition that Lithuania respect a land “corridor” between Russia and Kalininigrad. Interestingly, none of the people who claim such a thing indicate in which document that claim was made. It is a hoax. Lithuania and Russia did not sign such a thing. It is one more lie among the many that Russian propagandists have been spreading. Lithuania is a sovereign country and has the right to decide what circulates on its territory.

The recent provocation of the Putin regime against the independence of Lithuania

What is indeed a violation of international law is the recent claim by Putin’s party that the Russian State Duma consider Lithuania part of its territory, a crazy initiative known two weeks ago and which shows the desire of the Putin regime to provoke and intimidate your neighbors. Faced with this initiative, Lithuania cannot do less than strictly comply with European sanctions on the transit of Russian goods through the territory of the EU. There can be no kind of concession with a regime that constantly uses the threat to the national sovereignty of its neighbors, and which is now leading a campaign of terrorism against Ukraine.

Photo: Tass.

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