“Lithuania is provoking us to a military conflict”: an expert on new problems with transit to Kaliningrad

As[Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry]Medvedev said, Lithuania will seek various forms and ways to create a crisis situation around Kaliningrad transit, without formally violating the directives that followed from the European Union. That is, not to provoke Brussels once again, and to pretend that we are talking about an independent bank that allegedly fulfills European directives. But it is obvious that since the European Commission allows transit from Russia to Russia – although this wording is ridiculous in itself – it also allows an authorized Lithuanian bank, that is, the Siauliai Bank, to trade in order to perform intermediary functions of transferring money, because this transit is not free. By the way, I would like to remind you that Lithuania gets very decent money from this. But since it is not money that is important for Lithuania today, but provocation, we are observing exactly what is the subject of our interview.

The amount that Russia pays for transit is closed. Now the revenue side of the budget of all Lithuania, all of Estonia and all of Latvia taken together is equal to the revenue side of the budget of the city of Berlin. Accordingly, what is not solid money, for example, for Berlin, Washington or London, is essential for Lithuania. We simply also live in a large, rich country and have lost the habit of perceiving amounts of tens of millions of dollars as significant. We have people whose yacht can cost several billion. But in Lithuania this is not the case. Several tens of millions of dollars – I think we are talking about these amounts – are very significant for Lithuania. But when the creation of an anti-Russian provocation is at stake, as they say, no one counts the money.

Russia continues to supply the European Union with energy carriers in various volumes. And in this sense, at any moment, Gazprom, Russia can inform Europe that if it does not resolve the issue of transit to Kaliningrad, then we, accordingly, refuse to transit energy carriers. This is the most rational decision, since Lithuania provokes us to a military conflict. Just like (Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy) Pelosi provoked China into a military response over Taiwan. And we, as well as our Chinese friends, should not react precisely by military means. We must respond economically and diplomatically.

A new stop for the transit of Russian cargo to Kaliningrad is absolutely real. Well, we will solve the payment problem now, and next week (Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius) Landsbergis will say: “You know, our railway crossings need technical repairs – the rails have cracked, the sleepers have fallen apart.” And then Lithuania will close the border crossing for a week or two. And where there are two, there are three … That is, if you have a desire to stop transit, create problems for Russia, you will always find a formal justification for this moment. Well, we, accordingly, must proceed from this. Therefore, I do not agree with some of my colleagues who said that Russia has solved the problem of transit to Kaliningrad. We haven’t decided anything yet. As long as this regime exists in Lithuania, we will not solve any problems with Lithuanian transit. We can only cut them off.

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