Vladimir Putin Josep Borrell Russia Poland Eu Ukraine city Moscow Lithuania city Kaliningrad UPS BLOCK Action Vladimir Putin Josep Borrell Russia Poland Eu Ukraine city Moscow Lithuania city Kaliningrad

Russia threatens ‘serious consequences’ as Lithuania blocks rail goods

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theguardian.com

The head of the Kremlin’s security council has threatened the “population of Lithuania” in an escalation of the row over Lithuanian railway’s refusal to allow some goods to cross the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.After a meeting in the region, which is wedged between Lithuania and Poland, 800 miles from Moscow, Nikolai Patrushev upped the rhetoric by threatening “serious consequences”.“Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions,” Patrushev said. “Appropriate measures … will be taken in the near future … Their consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania”.At the weekend, Lithuanian state railway had told Russian clients it could no longer transport steel or iron ore across EU territory to Kaliningrad, on the Baltic sea.Goods banned from entering the EU under sanctions introduced after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine include Russian coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology.

Just less than half of the goods that cross Lithuania in about 100 train journeys every month fall under EU sanctions, although there are different dates for them coming into force.A ban on oil will not be enforced until December as part of a compromise among the 27 EU member states.The railways announcement prompted some panic shopping in Kaliningrad and an angry response from Moscow, where officials accused Lithuania of breaching transit agreements struck in 2004.The European Commission has said Lithuania was acting legally, although the EU’s head of foreign policy, Josep Borrell, said on Monday that he would “double check”, in what appeared to be an attempt to take the sting out of the row.Patrushev, one of Putin’s closest aides, had been speaking after a meeting in Kaliningrad,

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