NATO engaged in ‘direct aggression’ against Russia, Moscow must defend itself – senator
NATO member state Lithuania is now effectively engaged in “direct aggression” against Russia, senator Andrey Klimov argued in a Telegram post on Monday, citing Vilnius’ decision to stop the transit of sanctioned goods to Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad.
According to the Russian politician, who heads a commission for the defense of state sovereignty, by refusing to let certain goods pass through its territory to the Russian region, Lithuania has violated a treaty signed between Moscow and Brussels 20 years ago.
Unless the EU brings its member state to heel and forces it to respect the accord, a huge question mark would be hanging over the legal basis for Lithuania’s membership in the bloc, Klimov argued. The senator stressed that in this case, Moscow would have a free hand to “solve the problem of the Kaliningrad transit created by Lithuania by ANY means chosen by us.”
Klimov went on to quote from the ‘Joint statement on transit between Kaliningrad Region and the rest of the Russian Federation’ dated November 11, 2002. The document, among other things, stated that the “parties acknowledge the unique position of Kaliningrad region as part of Russia separated from the rest of the Federation’s territory by other states.” Bearing this in mind, the signatories agreed to “make special efforts to allay both sides’ concerns with respect to the future transit of people and goods,” the senator pointed out.
The Russian lawmaker added that the uninterrupted transit from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad Region was guaranteed when Lithuania joined NATO back in 2004.
Klimov warned that the military alliance is “de jure starting with the hands of one of its member states an unacceptable blockade” of a Russian region.
This could be construed as direct aggression against Russia, which is literally forcing us to immediately resort to adequate self-defense.
Klimov’s sentiment was echoed by fellow senator Andrey Klishas, head of the Committee of Constitutional Legislation.
“The attempt to effectively impose a blockade on Kaliningrad Region on the part of Lithuania is a violation of Russia’s sovereignty over that region, and could be the grounds for very tough and absolutely legal actions on the part of Russia,” the senator wrote in Telegram on Monday.
On Saturday, Lithuanian authorities announced that goods subject to EU sanctions would no longer be allowed to pass through its territory to enter Kaliningrad Region. Among the items the transit of which is now being blocked are coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology. The region’s governor, Anton Alikhanov, said the ban means that as much as 50% of all the goods destined for Kaliningrad Region would be affected.
Lithuania’s state railway service, LTG Cargo, confirmed the same day that, according to clarifications from the European Commission, even if sanctioned goods and cargoes travel from one part of Russia to another, but through the territory of the EU, their transit should still be prohibited.