Moscow — Friday’s Moscow Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused the United States of a ban on Lithuania for licensed goods from mainland Russia to the Russian outlyings of Kaliningrad.
“By clear instructions from the White House, the so-called” Western Group “banned the rail transport of a wide range of goods through the Kaliningrad region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released Friday.
He said the move was part of a pattern of “more and more hostile behavior from the American side” against Russia.
Last Saturday, European Union member Lithuania began blocking the transportation of Russian goods subject to EU sanctions after the new regulations came into force.
Moscow called this move a “blockade” and promised a strict response. Vilnius said Russia is ready to separate Lithuania from the region’s power grid.
Russian officials have variously estimated that the ban would suspend 30% or 50% of freight transport, but also said that goods could be quickly rerouted to ships crossing the Baltic Sea.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonete said Wednesday that Russia’s blockade claim was false.
She said passenger transport continued uninterrupted and affected goods accounted for only 1 percent of Russia’s total freight transport to Kaliningrad.
Moscow also allowed Russian planes to fly to the United States to gather Russian diplomats, as Washington refused to abandon airspace sanctions on Friday, a real demand for ongoing dialogue. He said he showed that he was not.
Given the deteriorating relations, Russia said it was “impossible” to hold expert-level talks with Washington on many bilateral issues that were to occur in the near future. It was not specified which issue was mentioned and when the discussion would take place.