After Lithuania’s decision to restrict transit of goods to and from Kaliningrad, Russia began military exercises in the region.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced that, on June 20, servicemen of the Russian Baltic Fleet began exercises in the Kaliningrad region. The exercises will involve Grad and Uragan MLRS systems, large-caliber artillery systems 2S5 Giatsint-S, self-propelled howitzers Msta-S, 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S1 Gvozdika. About a thousand soldiers are involved in the drills, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
Lithuania notified the authorities of the Kaliningrad region that it will not allow the transit of sanctioned good through its territory. For the Kaliningrad region, which is cut off from the mainland Russia, this means a sudden loss of up to 50% of goods.
The Russian Federation Council stated that Russia "has a free hand to resolve the issue by any means" if the EU does not fix the situation with the "blockade of Kaliningrad." The EU’s High Representative of the for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said earlier that he believed that Lithuania's legitimate decision will not provoke a serious conflict in the region.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the situation "unprecedented," but admitted that Moscow has not yet decided how to respond to Lithuania.
Russian opposition journalist Alexander Nevzorov recalled that once it was the "Lithuanian spark" that lit the wick of the bomb, which destroyed the USSR. "Then, Lithuania managed to defeat a very powerful empire that was still alive. Probably, Russia will fall apart too, and again thanks to the "Lithuanian events". Round and round it goes," Nevzorov said.