Lithuania enters war with Russia by blocking deliveries of coals to Russia

After Lithuania blocked EU-sanctioned goods from reaching the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, Russia has threatened to retaliate with measures that “will have a serious negative impact on the Lithuanian population.”

Lithuania has blocked deliveries of coal, metals, construction materials, and advanced technology from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad, according to Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

‘Such hostile actions will undoubtedly elicit a response from Russia.’ Interfax quoted Patrushev, a former KGB spy, as saying, “Relevant measures are being worked out in the interdepartmental format and will be taken in the near future.”

‘Their consequences will have a significant negative impact on Lithuania’s population,’ he added.

Patrushev’s warning comes after Evgeny Buzhinsky, a retired Russian general, urged Putin to send nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad.

Following the move, the President’s spokesman added his two cents, warning that Moscow will never trust the West again.

After deliveries of coal, metals, construction materials, and advanced technology were stopped from entering Russian territory via NATO member Lithuania, Lt-Gen Evgeny Buzhinsky told Russian state television that the West is playing with fire.

The decision by Lithuania to prohibit the delivery of sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad, a Russian outpost on the Baltic Sea surrounded by EU territory, was a “threat” to Russia’s national security, according to Buzhinsky.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, warned that all trust between the West and Moscow has now vanished.

‘Relationships between Russia and the West will not return to previous levels,’ he told MSNBC, ‘because Moscow will never again trust such ‘partners.’ ‘This will be a long crisis, but we will never again trust the West.’

The threats come after the Kremlin threatened Lithuania with “very tough actions” if it did not reverse its “openly hostile move.”

One of Putin’s closest allies, Patrushev, arrived in Kaliningrad on Tuesday to discuss national security in the wake of the NATO member Lithuania’s dispute.

According to the Russian state news agency RIA, he will chair a meeting in Kaliningrad about security in Russia’s northwest.

According to RIA, the trip was planned before Vilnius prohibited the transit of goods sanctioned by the European Union through Lithuanian territory to and from the exclave, citing EU sanction rules.

The European Union’s ambassador to Moscow, Markus Ederer, was summoned by Russia’s foreign ministry on Tuesday over ‘anti-Russian restrictions’ on the transit of sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad.

‘The inadmissibility of such actions, which violate the relevant legal and political obligations of the European Union and lead to an escalation of tensions, was highlighted,’ according to a statement from the ministry.

According to an EU spokesperson, Ederer urged Russia on Tuesday to refrain from “escalatory steps and rhetoric” in response to what Moscow calls “anti-Russian restrictions.”

‘He conveyed our position on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and explained that Lithuania is implementing EU sanctions and that there is no blockade,’ said spokesperson Peter Stano.

In a written statement released Tuesday, the Lithuanian government stated that “the transit of passengers and non-sanctioned goods to and from the Kaliningrad region through Lithuania continues uninterrupted,” and that the ban on transit of sanctioned goods was only part of the EU’s fourth package of sanctions against Russia.

Top Lithuanian officials slammed Russia’s response to the measure as an attempt by the Kremlin to wrap up a propaganda campaign aimed at projecting an image of a “blockade” primarily for domestic consumption.

‘It’s ironic to hear rhetoric about alleged international treaty violations from a country that has likely violated every international treaty,’ Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told reporters.

‘There is no blockade in Kaliningrad,’ Simonyte stated. ‘Lithuania is putting EU sanctions into effect.’

Meanwhile, Buzhinsky stated that “Russia will not stop” defending its territory, claiming that “otherwise they will deprive us of Kaliningrad.”

He also said that if the new standoff in Lithuania leads to a nuclear Third World War, Britain will ‘physically cease to exist.’

Russia reserves the right to act to protect its national interests, according to the Lithuanian chargĂ© d’affaires in Moscow.

‘We consider provocative measures by the Lithuanian side that violate Lithuania’s international obligations, mainly the 2002 Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the European Union on transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the Russian Federation, to be openly hostile,’ according to the Russian foreign ministry.

Senator Andrey Klimov of the Loyalist Party warned that it was “direct aggression” against Russia, “forcing us to resort to proper self-defense immediately.”

Any direct Russian attack on NATO member Lithuania would be considered a war crime and could result in a global conflict.

Buzhinsky, speaking on the state-run Russian television channel Russia 1, described the situation as “extremely serious” and claimed that the West had hidden agendas.

‘This is a long game to push us out of the Baltic Sea, an attempt to block and cut off Kaliningrad, and eventually take it from us,’ he claimed.

According to Buzinsky, the West intended to “completely block Kaliningrad’s economy until our people howl from poverty.”

‘We have to take very decisive steps, starting with diplomatic steps,’ said Buzhinsky, who held senior positions in the Russian defense ministry.

The recognition of Lithuania’s independence by the Soviet Union was one of them.

Putin should “disavow the 1991 recognition of Lithuania, disavow the EU’s agreement on Lithuania, including on their borders, and then cut Lithuania off from energy,” according to Buzhinsky.

‘And then we’ll have to take military action,’ he said. He urged the Kremlin to seize control of the so-called Suvalkovsky corridor, which connects Russia’s ally Belarus to Lithuania.

‘We need to move nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad as a show of force…’ Something has to be done. We need to beef up our military presence at the Lithuanian border, just as we did at the Ukrainian border in December last year and January this year.

‘Inform the Americans that they are playing with fire, first through confidential channels.’

‘You guys are going to play to the point where Russia will not stop, because this is a threat to our national security, an attempt on our sovereign territory.’ It will be felt all over the world. In comparison to our decisive steps, Ukrainian grain will seem like a joke.’

‘In other words, this is a NATO war?’ said Yevgeny Popov, a pro-Putin TV anchor.

‘Yes, what else do we do?’ Buzhinsky replied. Otherwise, they’ll suffocate us. We can’t stop; otherwise, they’ll take Kaliningrad away from us.’

Meanwhile, General Buzhinksy slammed British general Sir Patrick Sanders, who took command of the UK’s land forces this week and issued a rallying cry to troops to prepare to fight and defeat Russian forces in a Third World War.

‘He doesn’t understand that Britain will physically cease to exist as a result of the Third World War,’ Buzhinsky said.

‘I have no idea where he or his descendants will live because the island will vanish.’

‘I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power,’ Gen. Sanders said in his message to troops.

‘The magnitude of Russia’s ongoing threat indicates that we’ve entered a new era of insecurity.’

‘It is solely my responsibility to make our Army as lethal and effective as possible.’ The time has come for us to seize this opportunity.’

Foreign Minister Liz Truss of the United Kingdom said on Tuesday that the British government is determined to impose more sanctions on Russia, while also promising more support for Ukraine.

‘We are determined to provide more weapons, impose more sanctions, and support Ukraine in its efforts to push Russia out of their territory,’ Truss said in a statement to Congress.

Truss said she would travel to Turkey on Wednesday to discuss options for getting grain out of Odesa, and that a solution would be found in a matter of weeks.

The United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union have joined forces to impose crippling sanctions on Russia for what they call an invasion of Ukraine. It is being referred to as a military operation by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

‘Until we see Russia fully withdraw from Ukraine, we will continue to impose sanctions and stop importing goods from Russia,’ Truss said.

As part of its broad-based sanctions against Russia, Britain has targeted Russian businessmen, politicians, religious leaders, and businesses.

The West’s action against Kaliningrad, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, is “openly hostile.”

‘Lithuania must understand that labeling Vilnius’ actions on the Kaliningrad transit as ‘hostile’ means the time for negotiations is over,’ she told pro-Kremlin TV host Vladimir Solovyov.

‘They [the Lithuanian authorities] are the ones who are acting aggressively.

‘They have crossed the line of international law and are engaging in hostile, aggressive behavior.’

‘They are the ones who act provocatively, aggressively, and hostilely.’

‘Lithuania’s attempt to establish a virtual blockade of the Kaliningrad region is a violation of Russia’s sovereignty over this region, and may serve as the basis for very tough and absolutely legal actions on Russia’s part,’ said another senator, Andrey Klishas.

In The Financial Times, Putin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky predicted that Putin’s ‘next step’ would be a ‘air blockade’ of Lithuania.

‘Russian aviation will be able to fly directly between Russia and Kaliningrad as a result of this.’ Nato will then be faced with a decision.’

‘After Lithuania banned the transit of sanctioned goods to the Kaliningrad region through its territory, Russian politicians and the media have started talking…the basis for declaring war,’ said Ksenia Sobchak, a former Russian presidential candidate and TV presenter.

‘Russia has no right to threaten Lithuania,’ Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted.

The consequences of Moscow’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine are solely the responsibility of Moscow.’

After Putin was ‘humiliated’ by Kazakh leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Friday at Russia’s major economic summit in St Petersburg, Kremlin henchmen warned of the threat of war in Kazakhstan.

By refusing to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics as independent states, Tokayev snubbed Putin.

According to one account, Putin was ‘literally furious’ and humiliated. He was all set for’vengeance.’

Russia could take “Ukraine-like measures” in Kazakhstan, according to pro-Putin MP Konstantin Zatulin.

‘You have to stand with Russia and show your position, not be afraid of US and EU sanctions,’ Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov warned Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan and other ex-Soviet states were “all silent, fearful of American or European sanctions.”

According to reports, Russia has disrupted an oil exporting terminal in Kazakhstan.

According to another report, Putin has not ruled out a major mobilization of half a million men in five western Russian regions near Ukraine.

This could happen if Ukraine continues to attack civilian and military targets.

Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, and Rostov were among the regions mentioned.

According to Ukrainian reports, Putin is attempting to persuade Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko to open a second front by invading the regions of Volyn, Rivne, and Kyiv.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated that his country was simply enforcing EU sanctions.

He stated that the actions were taken after “consultation with the European Commission and in accordance with its guidelines.”

‘Sanctioned goods will no longer be permitted to transit Lithuanian territory,’ added Landsbergis.

Ingrida Simonyte, the country’s prime minister, also stated that any claims about the blockade of Kaliningrad are Kremlin propaganda.

‘It’s just that EU sanctions on some of the goods in the package, namely steel and ferrous metals, have taken effect.’ ‘Transport of all other goods that are either unsanctioned or not yet subject to sanctions, as well as passenger transit,’ she said, pointing out the irony in Russia’s references to international treaties.

‘I’m not sure if there is any international treaty that Russia hasn’t yet broken,’ Simonyte said.

Lithuania had informed Kaliningrad’s railways that due to EU sanctions, the transit of some Russian goods would be restricted beginning June 18.

The foreign ministry stressed that no ‘unilateral, individual, or additional’ restrictions have been imposed.

Russia, on the other hand, disagrees, with Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, saying: ‘This decision is truly unprecedented.’ It’s a blatant violation of every rule.’

‘We consider this illegal,’ he warned. The situation is extremely serious… we need to conduct a thorough investigation in order to devise a strategy.’

The move, according to Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov, was illegal and violated the country’s commitments when it joined the EU.

Lithuania was breaking international law, according to Senate Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachyov, by prohibiting goods from Russia from passing through Belarus.

The 430,000-strong Kaliningrad exclave is bordered on the south by Lithuania and Poland, another EU member, and is cut off from the rest of Russia. Trains carrying cargo to Kaliningrad pass through Belarus and Lithuania.

Poland is not a transit country. Russia can continue to supply the exclave by sea while avoiding EU sanctions.

‘The attempt to isolate the region is – from the point of view of international law – in fact a casus belli, a term meaning a formal reason to declare war,’ Russian state TV reporter Grigory Yemelyanov of Channel 1 warned over footage of blocked trains.

The industrial city of Sievierodonetsk is a key target of Moscow’s eastern offensive.

On Sunday, Russia announced that it had taken control of Metyolkine, a village on the outskirts of the city, and that many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered there, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Russia had ‘partial success’ in the area, according to Ukraine’s military.

A Russian attack on Toshkivka, 20 miles south of Sievierodonetsk, ‘had a degree of success,’ according to Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai.

Gaidai said Russia controlled ‘the main part’ of Sievierodonetsk, a city of 100,000 people before the war, but not the entire town, after intense fighting. The battlefield accounts could not be independently verified by Reuters.

The heavy bombardment around Sievierodonetsk has continued ‘with little change to the front line,’ according to the British Ministry of Defence.

Residential buildings and private houses in Sievierodonetsk’s twin city of Lysychansk had been destroyed by Russian shelling, according to Gaidai. ‘People are dying in bomb shelters and on the streets,’ he added.

He later confirmed that 19 people were evacuated on Sunday. ‘We’re doing our best to bring in humanitarian aid and evacuate people,’ Gaidai said.

‘Russian forces will likely be able to seize Sievierodonetsk in the coming weeks, but at the cost of concentrating most of their available forces in this small area,’ analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, wrote in a note.

According to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the Ukraine conflict could last for years and urged Western governments to keep sending state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops.

‘We need to plan for the possibility that it will take years.’ ‘We must not relent in our support for Ukraine,’ Stoltenberg said.

Russia has announced the launch of a’special military operation’ to disarm its neighbor and protect Russian speakers from dangerous nationalists in the country. That is dismissed by Kyiv and its allies as a baseless pretext for an aggressive war.

Morale among Ukrainian and Russian combat units in the Donbas was likely ‘variable,’ according to a British military assessment.

‘While Ukrainian forces are likely to have suffered desertions in recent weeks, Russian morale is likely to be particularly low.

The British Ministry of Defence said on Twitter that “cases of whole Russian units refusing orders and armed stand-offs between officers and their troops continue to occur.”