Lithuania has newly stopped the transit of the Russian trains and trucks to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, thus playing a dangerous game on the behest of its master, the USA. The thing is, the ratification of Lithuania’s eastern border and it ascension into EU is directly couple with a written guarantee of unimpeded transit of the goods to the Russian territory from the mainland Russia. This is just one of several jabs that the US-NATO are trying to make to distract Russia from the denazification of Ukraine and trying to stoke the flames of a regional conflict that bears the characteristics of a civil war into a pan-European or even global war. the other prods come from Finland with it militaristic rhetoric and the militarisation of the Finnish-Russian border; the blockade of good transport to the Russian settlement on Svalbard/Spitsbergen by Norway; the threat of Poland annexing Western Ukraine; and the threat of Romania annexing Moldavia and re-igniting the Pridnestrovie/Transnistria conflict. In any case, Russia will not be distracted, as reacting to those jabs would mean accepting the agenda of the enemy and losing the initiative. As the old military and strategic game adage goes: never do what you opponent wants and expects you to do.
But back to the little Lithuania, one of the three self-proclaimed “Baltic tigers”. Below I want to present translations of two articles that look at the issue from slightly different angles – a historical and a geopolitical one.
The first article appeared on Yandex Zen on May the 12th and is called “The last drop of patience and… de-pugification of Lithuania”. It refers to the famous fable by Krylov of “Mos’ka” (a pug or a mongrel) and an elefant, where the tiny dog barks loudly as the elephant is walking along the streets, and people around are saying, look, that tiny dog must be incredibly powerful that it dares to bark at an elephant. The Russian transliteration of “Demos’kofikazia” is also a play on words alluding to the ongoing denazification of Ukraine, yet denying Lithuania event that pleasure. The article has a historical and an opinion parts.
The stunning news of the holidays is that the Lithuanian Seimas unanimously recognized Russia as a terrorist state. From the rhetoric of Russophobia, which no one is paying attention to… the Lithuanians have moved on to the first official document, according to all the canons of diplomacy, which is an act of direct aggression against Russia. You can justify yourself as much as you like, they say… this is just a parliament, the case will not get a legal move in the European Union and the Lithuanian government.
No, no, comrades… From the point of view of law, the recognition of Russia as a terrorist country means one thing – state borders are cancelled, any political, diplomatic, trade, economic and humanitarian programs are curtailed. We should pay no heed to the extent that the decision of the Seimas is a declaration within the framework of the single European space or the NATO collective security treaty. A particular country has made its choice.
Vilnius… sorry, it’s correct to say Vilno or Vilna. That’s from the point of view of the Russians, Poles or Belarusians. I will not delve into the depths of centuries to tell more than 600 years of the history of the Slavic city (founded in 1323 by Prince Gediminas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). Let us focus only on the newest period, when the ownership of Vilnius was disputed by the Russians, Poles and Germans. And later by Belorussians and Balts-Lithuanians.
So, in 1795, after the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the city of Vilna became part of the Russian Empire, becoming the administrative center of the Vilna province, which includes the lands of modern Lithuania and Belorussia. From time immemorial, the bulk of the population were Poles, Belorussians and Jews, only at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries did Vilna become an artificial center for the revival of Lithuanian national identity.
The newfangled words “Lithuanian” and “Lithuanian language” appear, an archaic Zhmut dialect used by the local population in the triangle between Vilna, Grodno and Minsk, centred in the modern Belorussian city of Novogrudok. Doesn’t matter… During the First World War, these lands were seized by Kaiser’s Germany. The descendants of the “dog knights” were so bad at history that even in the official newspapers the city of Vilna began to be called “the most beautiful pearl of the Polish kingdom.” But the Poles liked it.
Time passed, the Russian Empire plunged into the abyss of revolutions. The Germans propose to the local nationalists in 1917 to create a Lithuanian state and immediately join Germany. The project was slowly discussed … until the revolutionary movement began to boil in the German land itself, and a terrible catastrophe occurred on the fronts of the First World War. On December 31, 1918, the invaders left, the Red Army was coming on their heels.
The Polish self-defence detachments in Vilna realized that the Germans were conspiring with the Bolsheviks to quietly leave the city and ensure the continuity of power. An uprising broke out, clashes and attempts to disarm the garrison began. The Poles occupied the town hall, the telegraph office, the post office, and began pecking at the Kaiser’s rear units. They did not resist at all, only placed machine guns and several cannons on Bolshaya Pogulyanskaya Street and next to the railway station, so as not to disrupt the evacuation, and to withdraw as much property from warehouses as possible.
On January 1, the communist underground also takes up arms, chaotic battles cover the city. The Poles clashed with the Poles, the “red detachments” are defeated. Their remnants were rescued by soldiers of the 2nd Rifle Brigade from Pskov and two regiments of the 17th Rifle Division of the Red Army, who received orders to liberate Vilna from Polish self-defence. As it turned out, the Germans also participated in the operation, starting on January 6 to accept surrendering nationalists, interning everyone in Poland.
The First Congress of Lithuanian Soviets was held in the city, a Declaration on the Unification of Soviet Lithuania and Soviet Belorussia was adopted on February 20, and a week later the Lithuanian-Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (LitBel) was officially proclaimed with the capital in Vilnius. And thus the Lithuanians, without participating in the events… received their own republic, and the city of Vilna as a gift from the revolution.
The Republic of LitBel itself did not last long, the Poles set solving of the “Vilna question” in their favour as the main task in the fight against the Soviet Russia. On April 19, 1919, the capital fell, the city received its former name — Vilna. For several weeks, it was cleared of former defenders and sympathizers of the Soviet government.
Several Jewish pogroms took place, hundreds of residents ended up in concentration camps and prisons. Then the Polish-nobles started picking off the others, grabbing Belorussians, Russian White Guards, Lithuanians. Only after that they moved on to Ukraine, entering into a military alliance with Petlyura. In May, the units of Pilsudski are defeated near Kiev, the Red Army rushes to Warsaw with the slogan of the world revolution on the banners.
On July 12, 1920, Soviet Russia concluded an agreement with Lithuania, according to which the Vilna Region was transferred to the local Soviets (councils), most of which were comprised of the Lithuanians. And after the “Warsaw Miracle”, it was the Entente itself that did not allow the Polish units to seize the republic, forcing Pilsudski to recognize the independence of Lithuania. On October 7, 1920, a corresponding agreement on the delimitation of territories was signed, Warsaw conceded Vilna to local independents.
But in reality, the Poles started their own game by organizing a provocation. Two days before the Treaty came into force, a “riot” allegedly began in the Polish division of Lucian Zheligovsky. 14 thousand soldiers occupied Vilna, having previously arrested the local government. And on October 12, General Zheligovsky issued Decree No. 1 “On the establishment of the State of Middle Lithuania”. The leaders of Lithuania rushed to the League of Nations, receiving from England and France… a regret and an advice to “resolve the conflict peacefully”.
The grinning Jozef Pilsudski spread out his hands, shook his finger at the notorious “rebels” and started long-running negotiations. He led them so ugly and brazenly that the months-long chatter ended with the rupture of diplomatic relations between the states. Vilna remained the capital of the “Middle Lithuania”, in order to quietly become part of Poland two years later under the name “Vilna Voevodstvo” (translator note: “military district”, a Polish term for “county”). Despite the outcry of the official Lithuania in the League of Nations.
Since 1922, Warsaw has been forcibly polonizing the Vilna Region, 80% of schools are transferred to Polish, Orthodox parishes are being closed, hundreds of Catholic priests arrive in the place of the Orthodox priests, repressions against Jews begin, they are being squeezed out of the economy and cultural life of the region. And in March 1938, Polish-Lithuanian relations deteriorated, the body of a Polish border guard was found on the demarcation line. Warsaw issues ultimatum-accusation to Kaunas…
It was, by the way, a joint operation of the Poles and Nazi Germany. Since Ribbentrop intimidated Lithuania so much, it immediately fulfilled all the points of the ultimatum: restored diplomatic relations with Warsaw, removed from the Constitution the mention of Vilna as the capital of its state. Poland rejoiced! She thanked the Nazis, only to become a victim of Hitler next year.
On September 17, 1939, the Polish government left the country, and only then did the Red Army units move from the east towards Vilna, reaching the suburbs a day later. Here they were met with weapons in their hands by the militia (mostly students), parts of the Polish gendarmerie and the “border guard corps”. The fighting was fleeting, already on September 19 the “vegetable garden” fell, the Polish defenders fled to Lithuania to be interned later. The Red Army lost 13 people killed and 24 wounded, 5 tanks and 4 armoured vehicles were destroyed with Molotov cocktails. More than 10 thousand Poles were captured.
Diplomatic manoeuvrers began. On October 10, 1939, according to the agreement between the USSR and Lithuania, part of the Vilna Region and the city of Vilna were transferred to the Republic of Lithuania. Two weeks later, the Lithuanian military entered the already renamed Vilnius. And on August 3, 1940, the republic became part of the USSR. And that’s the whole story of “independence”… a broad gesture of goodwill from “tyrant Stalin and the Soviet occupiers.”
Now let’s return to the fateful decision of the Lithuanian Seimas of May 10 this year. And the first official recognition at the state level of the Russian Federation as a “terrorist state”. Of course, our vegetarian diplomacy will try not to react to the démarche and impudence… Such is the Russian national amusement at the state level – not to notice from the height of the elephant height of the superpower any small pugs.
The Declaration of the Lithuanian Russophobic deputies itself has not yet received a legal assessment, no indictment documents or court decisions have been attached to the document. Neither from Lithuania as the state, nor from the European Union. The private opinion of not very smart people who do not know the history of their own statehood, who made the country a real hotbed of Nazism during the Second World War.
We can remind our government people who turn a blind eye to the countries of the “Baltic tigers”, what they really are. Almost one hundred percent dependence on trade with Russia. Our gas, our and Belorussian fertilizers, our food. And in return for a profitable “partnership” we receive the upkeep of NATO military bases. The same Lithuania became the initiator (before the USA!) of the Operation Baltic Air Patrol, which has not stopped for a single hour since 2004.
Dual-purpose fighter-bombers capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons are flying under our noses. Lithuania is the leader in arms and ammunition stocks. And what happens at the Zoknai airbase near Siauliai is generally a terrible state secret.
And in order not to break into obscene statements, we can keep quiet about the glorification of direct accomplices of Nazism, the “forest brothers” (translator note: the Lithuanian equivalent of the Banderites, Nazi collaboirators) from the “Union of Lithuanian Nationalists”. We look at it calmly. On the official ban by the Vilnius authorities of Victory Day, of any Soviet symbols. What other signs are needed to pursue a different policy towards this country?
I becomes tiresome to endure outright insults, backed up by the votes of 128 parliamentarians in a single rush. This is not a solitary howl from the doorway of a small hooligan, confident in the help of a bully leader. It’s a state policy. After that, other “Young Europeans” will start to stamp similar Declarations, will we also take it easy? Or we will wait for serious problems with besieged Kaliningrad, because such a decision is aimed at legally justifying the blocking of any transit to the Russian exclave. Is it unclear?
Against the background of virtually severed diplomatic relations with Vilnius, such a scenario could become a military one. Bypassing the phase of political confrontation and negotiations. Will we watch how the Lithuanian Seimas will push through another decision, “the creation of a special international criminal tribunal to investigate and assess Russia’s aggression”? Washington is already officially “considering the possibilities”, having promptly responded to the initiative of the Lithuanian Seimas. And it is clear even to a dimwit who exactly directed this insult at Russia. And the continuation of the play will follow…
China has acted simply with this country… crossed Lithuania out of its own view of the world. For Beijing, Vilnius now does not exist in nature, since the Lithuanian state is absent from the electronic customs declaration system after the official recognition of Taiwan. What prevents Moscow from carrying out exactly the same operation, to stop all types of economic cooperation — I do not understand.
Will the Lithuanian authorities ban the transit of Belorussian goods to Kaliningrad? Let them take a chance, a 70-kilometer land corridor can be laid by one tank column in a single day. For humanitarian reasons, for the sake of saving Russian citizens. Or do different people make decisions for different regions? On in the Donbass, another in the Vilna Region? I’m not asking questions to disperse indiscriminate criticism, I want to understand. How long the lands donated by my country will be occupied by the descendants of the “forest brothers” who are doing everything possible to destroy Russia. Maybe this is the way to… start thinking?
The second article appeared in Tsargrad on the 21st of June:
Moscow regarded Vilnius’ actions to ban the transit of goods through the territory of the republic as a provocation and a violation of international law, calling them “openly hostile.” And in the Federation Council they told Tsargrad, that Russia now has “untied hands.” How can we respond and how will this blockage affect the westernmost region of the country?
A small Baltic state with a population of 2.7 million inhabitants and an armed force of 30,000 people, occupying a territory smaller than the Stavropol Region, as an example, actually acted as a provocateur of the beginning of the Third World War – between Russia and NATO.
Since midnight on June 18, Lithuania has announced a ban on transit through its territory from “mainland” Russia to the Kaliningrad region of a significant list of goods subject to EU sanctions. As Anton Alikhanov, the governor of the westernmost region of the country, clarified, we are talking of about half of everything that came there by rail.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia called Lithuania’s trick “openly hostile” and demanded to cancel the crazy decision, warning that otherwise Moscow reserves the right to act to protect national interests.
The experts with whom Tsargrad spoke clarified: this may include the right of the state to resort to the use of military force. After all, in fact, the Baltic Republic has imposed a blockade of the Kaliningrad region, which means that there is a threat to our national security. However, Lithuania is a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, which guarantees the collective protection of all who are members of this organization.
“We were ready for such nasty things from the neighbours”
Rumours, as you know, always outstrip official information. Leaks – accidental or intentional, one way or another, have time to spread before the details become known.
So the message of the Lithuanian railway transport company LTG Cargo, sent to its customers (that is, those who are engaged in just sending and receiving goods) on June 17, became the property of the residents of the region faster than it was published on the Web.
People sent them via different chats, commented, swearing, of course, – lawyer Denis, a resident of Kaliningrad, told Tsargrad. – No one knew exactly which product range was banned. And then there’s Friday. In short, many rushed to the shops, to buy basic necessities, to stock up for the future, someone with cans for refuelling, because there was a rumour that the ban would primarily affect oil supplies. In general, a mess.
By the evening, Governor Alikhanov published a special video message on his TG channel, urging people not to panic.
Screenshot of the press release of the Lithuanian transport company. Source: Anton Alikhanov’s TG Channel
And he clarified that neither gasoline, nor petroleum products, nor food products were included in the block list. There were mainly building materials, cement, metals and a significant list of goods needed for various industries and construction.
We were preparing for this kind of nastiness from our neighbours, a new ferry was built and put into operation, together with the Ministry of Transport, we relocated another cargo ship from other seas, which also runs on the Ust-Luga – Baltiysk line, in order to redistribute goods prohibited for transit, we may need additional vessels, accounting for the maximum volume needed, it is seven additional vessels by the end of the year, they are in the Baltic, they have already worked with some companies,
– Anton Alikhanov reported.
And he added that there are three certain “serious proposals” as retaliatory measures, they are being discussed – and may also concern the Baltic transport complex.
We are too “soft”, and everyone is used to it
The source of Tsargrad confirms that such a trick of Vilnius was calculated long ago. Moreover, the option was considered that this step would be taken after the adoption of one of the first sanctions packages of the European Union, since Lithuania clearly would not have decided on such a thing on its own.
The EU stands behind this decision – and above all Poland, as one of the supporters of even more active pressure on Russia. And the “Kaliningrad factor” is used as a presentation-psychological one that allows them to assess the reaction of Russia and Belorussia in order to feel out the variability of actions. At the same time, the EU, NATO, Warsaw and Vilnius are convinced that Moscow’s reaction will be limited to rhetoric,
– says the director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergey Markov.
As a confirmation of the argument about Moscow’s reaction, he mentions the fact that Russia has been engaged in sea transit with the help of ferries for several months.
And as a response, Markov believes, an “economic set” can be used – in the form of a complete ban on Lithuanian transit through Russia, as well as a new round of the migration crisis at the border.
Given that transit and transport logistics are the main branch of the economy, this will create serious problems for Vilnius, because it is unlikely that they will receive help from the EU there: in Paris and Berlin, they believe that the EU budget spending on assistance to the Baltic States is already excessive.
Our country, by the way, according to the data at the end of last year, was the main partner of Lithuania itself in exports – Russia accounted for almost 11 percent of all foreign supplies of the Baltic Republic. This is more than in Latvia (9.4%), Germany (8.2%) and Poland (7.9%).
I assume that there will be months of singing pendulum, attempts at secret negotiations. The point is that they should abandon these nonsense, otherwise it will eventually turn out badly – up to a nuclear war. From my point of view, we should say much more clearly that if the blockade continues, the security of the Kaliningrad region will be provided by military means. After all, we are accused all the time that we are too loose, while in reality we are too soft. On the contrary, we need to act tougher,
– the expert summarizes.
The right to a military response is guaranteed by the UN
As for the “military path” – here Russia has a real carte blanche, guaranteed by the UN.
Actually, having begun the blockade of the Kaliningrad region, Lithuania actually single-handedly denounced the agreement between Russia and the European Union of November 11, 2002, set out in a joint statement by Moscow and Brussels.
This document – immediately in its first paragraph – states that “the parties (the EU and Russia) recognize the uniqueness of the position of the Kaliningrad region as part of Russia, separated from the rest of the Federation by other states.” Therefore, special conditions are being adopted for the future transit of people and goods between the Kaliningrad Region and other regions of Russia.”
Screenshot from the website kremlin.ru
And it was this joint statement of ours that was the basis of all subsequent documents, thanks to which Lithuania ended up in the European Union and NATO,” explains Andrei Klimov, a member of the Federation Council, in an interview with Tsargrad. – Thus, when they disavowed the principle itself, our hands are now, figuratively speaking, untied, and we have the right, both moral and legal, in my opinion, to respond as we see fit. And this answer does not necessarily have to be symmetrical. Of course, the situation that has developed, it is difficult to consider it otherwise but as an aggression against the Russian Federation.
And in this case, Klimov clarifies, everyone should familiarize themselves with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, which guarantees the inalienable right of a UN member state to resort to military force in order to exercise the right to self-defence. At the same time, the concept of “aggression” is defined by UN General Assembly Resolution No. 3314 of December 14, 1974.
It says so (later, after the terrorist attacks in the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001, the interpretation of the concept was expanded, indicating that those events were aggression, which means that the States, having the right to self–defence, have the right to conduct special operations anywhere):
The use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.
Lithuania and the EU, according to Senator Andrei Klimov, did not invent the story of the blockade themselves, because for Brussels it looks more like a political hara–kiri, it was rather the “overseas friends” – the United States who are behind it.
The United States, which are ready to fight with Russia “to the last Ukrainian” with the help of the “Independent” (aka Ukraine), already understand that Kiev is getting closer to the line, beyond which there lies complete surrender. Therefore, it is advantageous for them to stretch and shake the power of our state, to pit it against others, to make it rush.
At the same time, America is far away. And Europe – is right here. Close by. And the EU is also aware of this fact. Even Poland, with its belligerent, reckless rhetoric, will not want to be one of the first to be exposed to Russian missiles.
So, the time has come for decisive steps. And the sooner Russia makes them, the more firmly it will take its place in the new, multipolar world.