The leaders of Russia and Belarus discussed possible joint measures against Lithuania over its “illegal” transit restrictions affecting Moscow’s exclave of Kaliningrad, the Kremlin said Monday.
Vilnius has restricted the transit of goods sanctioned by the EU into Kaliningrad, a Russian region sandwiched between NATO members Lithuania and Poland, since mid-June. The move has infuriated Moscow.
“An emphasis was made on the situation in connection with the illegal restrictions imposed by Lithuania on the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad region,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
“In this context, some possible joint steps were discussed.”
The communique was issued after talks between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.
Lithuania borders the heavily militarised Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea, but not mainland Russia.
It also shares a 680-kilometre (422-mile) border with Belarus, the Kremlin’s main ally, which has served as a staging ground for the Russian army in its offensive on Ukraine.
Russia and the EU are in talks over the issue, with Moscow asking for the restrictions to be lifted and accusing Brussels of violating a 2002 agreement on travel to Kaliningrad.
Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov has said the “blockade” affects up to 50 percent of the exclave’s imports.
Minsk said that apart from Kaliningrad, the leaders also discussed Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine as well as “deliveries of Russian energy supplies to Europe.”
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