Lithuania scrutinises Kaliningrad’s transit slowdown after Moscow’s reaction
The Lithuanian government is again consulting with the EU Commission on implementing the fourth EU Sanctions package that includes a slow down of transit trains and goods on their way to Kaliningrad. This is after Moscow’s reaction, which highlighted that transit restrictions violate international agreements.
In response to Lithuania’s decision, Moscow also underlined that it wouldn’t hesitate to retaliate. As a result, Lithuanian officials now look closely at whether their decision is legitimate. “The government must [..] ensure that the sanctions do not violate Lithuania’s interests or international agreements,” commented Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on a social media post.
Guidelines still unclear
Initially, Lithuania responded to Moscow’s allegations, saying they were unfounded since the country follows EU rules and guidelines. However, after the first consultation meeting with the EU Commission, representatives of the Lithuanian government admitted that the guidelines that Brussels sent to Vilnius on implementing transit sanctions were quite unclear and could cause additional problems.
Currently, Lithuania’s state representatives and the Commission scrutinise whether the sanctions violate international agreements. Still, as the country’s prime minister said to reporters, “this is an ongoing process, and we cannot disclose much.” Whether or not the restrictions will be amended is unclear and will become public in the coming days.
In the meantime, a group of Russian hackers took Moscow’s warnings of retaliation very seriously. According to Reuters, the Russian hacker group Killnet claimed responsibility for a cyber attack launched on Lithuanian state, transport institutions, and media websites.
Lithuanian Railways are also victims of the attack, with the company’s websites being unreachable for the time being. LTG has not communicated if the attack impacted the country’s railway network and operations. “The attack will continue until Lithuania lifts the blockade,” a Killnet spokesperson said to Reuters.