Day 118 Roundup: Russia Threatens Retaliation as Lithuania Bans Transit of Imports to Kaliningrad

    Photo: Reuters

    The Facts

    • Russia's Foreign Ministry has demanded that Lithuania immediately lift a ban on the rail transit of some goods to the exclave of Kaliningrad – Russian territory wedged between Poland and Lithuania on the Black Sea, and home to over 400k people, that it retained following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    • Lithuania's FM Gabrielius Landsbergis defended the move, announced last week, and said his country was simply implementing EU sanctions in consultation with the EU Commission. Russia said if transport links aren't restored, it "reserves the right to take action in defense of its national interests." Moscow reportedly summoned the EU's ambassador to Russia on Tuesday.

    The Spin

    Anti-Russia narrative

    This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after a fraudulent election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 5% chance that Russia will invade any country other than Ukraine in 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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