Former diplomat criticizes Sinkevičius’ speeches on transit to Kaliningrad: there would have been a complete scandal

“Not about the suspension of Kaliningrad transit (which is not), but about the transportation of authorized goods through Lithuania. In other words, does Lithuania agree that, due to Russia’s wishes expressed in the form of an ultimatum, Lithuania would make a special corridor without a European Union, but with Russia? There are some obvious facts “, – A. Januška announces the current situation on Facebook.

Here he presents the essential facts.

“There is a passenger transit contract. There is no cargo transit agreement, although Russia has always wanted it (and that is what blackmail is doing now – who doesn’t see it?), And we managed not to make extraterritorialities or special exemptions for Russia when we joined the EU. This is our achievement, which Russia then recognized and accepted. There is no reason that it should be any different now, ”he writes, reminding that now, as an EU member, Lithuania’s transit is regulated by many EU competencies.

He emphasizes that “the regulation of the transit of authorized goods is an exclusive competence of the EU and there are no exceptions that the transit of goods through Lithuania should take place differently”.

“Transit is not suspended, sanctions are being implemented for certain goods,” A. Januška points out.

He also does not spare the criticism of V.Sinkevičius, who himself criticized the Lithuanian government on Tuesday for preparing for the pressure on the transit of goods to Kaliningrad from Russia.

“Lithuania’s European Commissioner suggests and criticizes that when the fourth package of sanctions was adopted, we had to negotiate for Russia so that sanctions would not apply to Kaliningrad transit. When the Russians hit Ukraine with missiles, does Lithuania ask the EU to make a special corridor for authorized goods through Lithuania? How could such a thing have been imagined? It would have been a complete scandal.

Photo by Sigismund Gedvilas / BNS / Albinas Januška

So no, Lithuania could not have avoided the “Kaliningrad dilemma” because there is no dilemma here. Lithuania could not and cannot take care of the interests of Russia, the aggressor. We cannot propose to make a special corridor through Lithuania to Russia, where EU law would not apply. We have fought against Russia with any extraterritoriality since 1993. And it is difficult to see how it is possible for critics not to understand one of the most fundamental interests of Lithuania today? That Russia has threatened us to relinquish our sovereignty for the sake of calming us? Unbelievable, ”the former long-time diplomat wonders.

He says Russia has always been able to talk to the EU on its own, but has not done so because there were other goals.

“Yes, Russia managed to impose a narrative on the world media for a few days, that only the problem of Lithuania and Russia is here. But Lithuania is not the only one to blame here, but the Commission, which should have defended its competence clearly and unambiguously yesterday. Everything is happening slowly in Brussels. The Lithuanian commissioner says that Lithuania needed to apply, they are not able to do it themselves. But as far as is known, Lithuania applied, coordinated, everything was known. And I think it will be fixed, ”says A. Januška.

According to the signatory of the Act of Independence, it is to be hoped that neither the EU nor Lithuania will believe in the ultimatums.

“The situation is serious, we must not be afraid, but we need more NATO presence. We may not have the capacity to take on a division today, but NATO’s strategy is not being developed for several days. We will have. It is important that the government does not compromise in advance, “the former diplomat said in a statement.

V.Sinkevičius submitted five five points

European Commissioner V.Sinkevičius also reacted to the current situation regarding transit on Facebook. He made five points on how all this should be assessed.

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / Virginijus Sinkevičius

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / Virginijus Sinkevičius

“First, the origins of this situation are Russia’s aggression and war crimes against Ukraine. The fact that due to sanctions it is currently not possible to transport some goods through the territory of Lithuania (EU) is only a consequence of Russia’s actions. In the discussions and deliberations of the European Commission, I have always sought the strongest, most effective and broadest possible sanctions against the aggressor.

Secondly, Lithuania is implementing the sanctions it has agreed on as agreed by the member states. Could Lithuania have raised the issue of transit exclusivity? Could have. Did you have to? No, Lithuania has been the voice of common sense for years, demanding Russia’s responsibility for the destruction of Sakartvele and Ukraine, so it would be strange to ask for concessions now.

Third, Lithuania had requested legal clarification and the Commission provided it. The Commission supports and will continue to support Lithuania in this situation.

Fourth, would landing the Kremlin be the way out? By no means. That would be a bow to the Putin regime, and it cannot be allowed in any way. Sanctions must be enforced.

Fifth – Seeing today’s discussion and reactions, I can say that this is only the beginning, there is no doubt that the Russian propaganda machine will continue to attack Lithuania and the entire EU. Therefore, we will have to make a lot of efforts so that neither the Western partners nor anyone in Lithuania would doubt the legitimacy of our actions, ”V.Sinkevičius announced on Facebook.

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