Russia is intensifying its military activity in the Baltics, and some military experts in the region predict that the conflict will escalate.
There have been suggestions that Russia will blockade Lithuania’s port of Klaipeda, but Lithuanian officials have disputed those claims.
Meanwhile, Russian media has suggested that Lithuania should be stripped of its Soviet-era electricity grid.
Both sides are using the availability of essential supplies as weapons.
Article 5 embodies the principle of collective defense
Kaliningrad, as a federal subject of the Russian Federation, poses a serious problem for Russia.
Its population is highly diversified and includes a number of ethnic minorities.
Figure 1 shows the largest ethnic minorities in Kaliningrad.
This makes the region difficult to exploit as a monolithic entity.
The threat of a Russian attack could trigger Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
The treaty also specifies that NATO will defend its allies from any attack.
This may seem like a given, but in reality, any attack by Russia would have to be intentional and targeted.
However, some analysts have suggested that the Baltics are a potential target, considering that they are former Soviet territory.
This could mean that Russia may try to regain control of the region.
As such, NATO countries prioritize strengthening their eastern flank in the event of a conflict with Russia.
Lithuania’s dependence on Russian energy
Lithuanian officials are worried about the implications of the EU’s sanctions on Russia, and have appealed to the German government to help them find an alternative solution.
Germany appears to be siding with Moscow, risking its reputation and undermining the credibility of EU sanctions.
Meanwhile, the Lithuanian government is considering an appeal to the European Court of Justice, but this would further expose divisions within Europe.
The EU has applied sanctions on Russia and Lithuania imposed its own restrictions to prevent the transit of Russian steel, iron and metals to Kaliningrad.
The sanctions were recently extended to other goods, including coal and alcohol.
But Russia has warned Lithuania and the European Union that any future sanctions are “just provocation” and threatens to take harsher measures.
Lithuania’s restrictions on shipments of EU-sanctioned Russian goods to kaliningrad
The Lithuanian government says it’s implementing EU sanctions, interpreting them to include the transportation of Russian goods on EU territory.
But some experts say this approach risks undermining the credibility of the sanctions and harming Lithuania’s image.
The Lithuanian government may want to appeal the decision to the European Court of Justice, which would further expose divisions within Europe.
A train carrying 1,500 tons of Russian goods from St Petersburg is due to dock in Kaliningrad on Sunday.
The shipment includes cement, wood and metal products that are banned from transport by land in Lithuania.
The train will also be carrying other goods that Lithuania does not permit to be shipped to Kaliningrad.
Russia’s hysteria over kaliningrad
The upcoming annexation of Kaliningrad is not a small issue for Lithuania.
As a NATO member, the Baltic state risks Russian wrath.
After all, the Russians have already threatened other Baltic nations through the city.
Moreover, most Western sources believe that the Russians have nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad.
Thus, this empty provocation has significant implications for the people of Lithuania.
Kaliningrad was once a proud communist city and the outpost of Soviet power in Europe.
But after the fall of the USSR, it became a de facto Russian island.
Meanwhile, its neighbor Poland and Lithuania embraced Western alliances and freed themselves of Moscow’s influence.
Today, Sokolov laments his city’s role at the forefront of Europe’s divisions.
Lithuania’s reaction to russia’s hysteria
Lithuania has condemned Russia’s actions, and has warned that it will not be able to tolerate transit of a large group of goods through its territory.
It said that it will violate international law and principles, and would also violate written statements from the West.
It is attempting to deescalate tensions with Russia through appropriate measures.
But if the transit through Lithuania does go ahead, it will have major consequences for the people of Lithuania.
The Kaliningrad incident is likely the core reason for this latest kerfuffle.
Russia seems to think that if it makes enough noise about a war with Lithuania, it will be able to wear down sanctions by creating an image of an imminent conflict between the two nations.
The EU and U.S.
are tiny nations, and the Russians understand this.