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Russia says response to Lithuania's blockade of goods will not be 'exclusively diplomatic'

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this Wednesday (22) that the country’s response to the ban on Lithuania to the transit of Russian goods subject to European Union sanctions through Lithuanian territory and towards the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (between Poland and Lithuania) will not only be “diplomatic”.

“One of the main questions has been whether the answer would be exclusively diplomatic. The answer: no. The answer will not be diplomatic, but practical”, declared Zakharova, who did not give details on what these measures would be.

The ban on the transit of certain goods, sanctioned by the EU due to the invasion Russia to Ukraine, was adopted last weekend. In practice, a military retaliation by the Kremlin would represent an escalation in the conflict in Eastern Europe, as Lithuania is part of NATO, the Western military alliance, which stipulates that an aggression against a member country is an attack on the entire organization.

In an interview with Reuters, the president of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, said that the country is ready for some form of retaliation from Russia.

“We are ready and prepared for some kind of hostile action on the Russian side, disconnection from the BRELL systemor other actions,” said Nauseda, who said she did not believe that the Russian response would include military actions.

The Lithuanian president highlighted, however, that the blockade stems from sanctions “imposed at the of the European Union [da qual a Lituânia também faz parte], and this has nothing to do with bilateral relations between Russia and Lithuania.”

“We are waiting to implement the next steps of the sanctions , and it would be very good if the European Commission explained the content of the sanctions to the Russian authorities, which would probably alleviate some of the tensions that are emerging now”, he argued.

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