Lithuania-Russia tensions over Kaliningrad: is it blockade?

After Lithuania blocked the rail transit of transport steel or iron ore across EU territory to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, Russia started escalating tensions with the Baltic state. Now, the Kremlin is openly threatening Lithuania with “serious consequences”. However, the country itself says it’s just following EU guidelines regarding sanctioned goods over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

During his visit to Kaliningrad, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Kremlin’s Security Council and Putin’s adviser, blamed Lithuania for “hostile actions”, and warned that Russia would take measures “in the near future” that “will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania.” This means not only a threat to Lithuania itself but also a risk of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

As the Lithuanian government prepares for possible Russian responses, the European Commission confirms the state was acting legally since the banning of rail goods was caused not by EU sanctions including Russian coal, metals, construction materials, and advanced technology.

While Lithuania blocks the rail transit of transport steel or iron ore to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, complying with sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia for its aggression and war against Ukraine, the Kremlin threatens the Baltic state with “measures that will have a serious negative impact on its population”. Watch Ukraine in Flames #112 to learn how Russia escalates tensions with a NATO member and what consequences it may have.


  • Zygimantas Pavilions, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament, Deputy Chair in European Affairs Commmittee
  • Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parliament from Lithuania, ex-Prime Minister of Lithuania.

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