He also sees a violation of the WTO agreements. “At this speed, the West may even violate the 1982 UN Maritime Convention, which guarantees freedom of movement on the high seas,” he said.
Russian governor: “Serious violation”
According to Reuters, Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alichanov said in a video that the blockade would affect about half of all goods imported into the area. The EU sanctions list includes coal, building materials and high technology. “We consider this an extremely serious violation … of the right to free transit to the Kaliningrad region and back,” he said.
According to Reuters, Lithuanian Railways sent a report to its customers on Saturday warning of the enforcement of sanctions. The Al Jazeera channel says the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry is still waiting for a more detailed explanation from the EU on how sanctions against Kaliningrad are to be imposed.
In the Russian enclave, the governor was initially released. “Deliveries will be provided by our ferries,” he told Reuters. So far, two ships are sailing between Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, by the end of the year there could be seven. At the same time, he called on citizens to refrain from panicking. The gas also enters the enclave through a pipeline from Lithuania. It is currently unclear whether sanctions will affect this.
Tensions since 2016
The former Königsberg belonged to Prussia for a long time before it became part of the Soviet Union after World War II – already an enclave. The name was changed to Kaliningrad. There have been rumors again and again that Germany has claims – but these have been regularly rejected by the federal government. Any demands usually come from right-wing extremist circles.
Following Russian maneuvers in 2016 and the deployment of missiles, tensions arose between NATO and Moscow. Poland at the time spoke of an “alarming situation”. It also caused a massive reduction in border traffic between Poland and Kaliningrad.
About two weeks ago, there were calls from the Duma, the Russian parliament, to consider the abolition of Lithuania’s independence, which Moscow recognized.