Gonzalo Lira on Lithuania’s Decision to Sanction Railway Service from Russia to Kaliningrad

I haven’t noticed much media coverage of this story. According to Reuters:

Lithuanian authorities said a ban on the transit through their territory to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad of goods that are subject to EU sanctions was to take effect from Saturday….

…The EU sanctions list notably includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology, and Alikhanov said the ban would cover around 50% of the items that Kaliningrad imports.

While I don’t doubt that Poland and the Baltics might be tempted to do something reckless, I’m somewhat skeptical that the Pentagon would agree to any activity that would call for US troops to actually fight in Ukraine or any other part of eastern Europe. I’ve heard concerns from some observers who are reiterating the fact that neoconservatives and other anti-Russia ideologues litter the State Dept. and could encourage such recklessness, leading to a spiral of escalatory events.

Ultimately, I think Lira is raising a legitimate concern here, but he may be overstating the case. Then again, maybe I’m being naive. I welcome comments from readers.

5 thoughts on “Gonzalo Lira on Lithuania’s Decision to Sanction Railway Service from Russia to Kaliningrad”

  1. He makes good points about background and new provocations. As I understand it, Kaliningrad passenger trains are not affected and Russia can use ships for other items.
    So while inconvenient, perhaps illegal, NATO hasn’t crossed the red line, yet

    1. It will be telling to see how Russia responds and how strong is Lithuania’s resolve to invoke EU sanctions that single them out for repurcussions.

    2. It will be telling to see how Russia responds and how strong is Lithuania’s resolve to invoke EU sanctions that single them out for repurcussions.

    1. I’m pretty sure that airspace in EU countries – i.e. Lithuania and Poland – are closed to Russian flights. The governor of Kaliningrad has said supplies will be shipped in.

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