Let’s Tune In: A Russian Island Surrounded by EU and NATO Members

Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta
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Let’s Tune In is a weekly column produced by our Newsroom team to highlight one story that you might have missed from last week. You can read more about our weekly content on the Newsroom page.


The tensions between Russia and Europe Europe are escalating, especially in recent days when Lithuania stopped the rail transit of some Russian goods direct to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.

Kaliningrad was annexed by the Soviet Union after the second world war together with the other territories of the East Europe but differently from the others, it has remained with good relationship with Russia under its sovereignty.

In the region there are an estimate of 1 million people that rely on the imports of raw materials and spare parts from Russia and EU. At the moment the sanctions imposed by the “European Union” and respected by Lithuania cover the 50% of the imports and this could affect in a relevant way the Kaliningrad’s economy and style of life. The sanctions list includes large percentages of coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology.


Lithuania is following what the European Union Commission decided and it is not doing anything more.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said: “It’s not Lithuania doing anything: It’s European sanctions that started working from 17 June… It was done with consultation from the European Commission and under European Commission guidelines”

Russia from the other side explains that this is a violation of International Law andwill not og ahead without consequences.

President Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that “the situation is really very serious and requires a very deep analysis before preparing any measures or any decisions. This thorough analysis will be carried out over the next few days”

An example of the factory situation in Kaliningrad is the Igor Pleshkov’s factory which was cut off from its land, Russia. The quantity of imports changed by the start of the war between Ukraine and Russia and Igor Pleshkov highlights that in June his factory was not capable to produce a single cubic meter that month.

If the security of Lithuania is guaranteed by article 5 of the Atlantic alliance which guarantees a collective response in case of an attack on one of the members of the alliance (collective defense), what could happen is that Russia stops the gas provided to Lithuania altogether.

The issue deserves a deeper understanding and a wall-to-wall approach may not turn out to be good practice for both nations.

What should International Law Do in This Instance? What Will Happen to the Production of Cities like Kaliningrad?

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Let’s Tune In: A Ru…

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