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Russia slams Lithuania’s ‘hostile’ restrictions on rail transit to Kaliningrad

Russia’s foreign ministry demands the immediate lifting of Lithuania’s “openly hostile” restrictions on the rail transit of EU-sanctioned goods to Moscow’s exclave of Kaliningrad, wedged between Lithuania and Poland.

“If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests,” the ministry says in a statement.

The ministry says it has summoned Lithuania’s charge d’affaires in Moscow to protest the “provocative” and “openly hostile” measures.

Earlier today, the Kremlin said Lithuania’s decision was “unprecedented” and “in violation of everything there is.”

“The situation is more than serious and it requires a very deep analysis before formulating any measures and decisions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The Baltic nation of Lithuania announced last week that it was banning the rail transit of goods that are subject to EU sanctions from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad. The list includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology. According to Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov, the ban would affect around 50% of all imports to the exclave.

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