'Putin can play it in the palm of his hand'


2022-06-24: [Chinese Article Link Question: Lithuania’s awakening of Russia’s “Territorial Security Fear” (author Uditegles) As part of Lithuania’s partial blockade of cargo traffic between Russia and Kaliningrad, a new dangerous conflict is imminent. Putin can play it in his hands. This is consistent with his narrative about Europe’s attempt to eliminate Russians. Alexander Liebman, an expert on Eastern Europe at the Free University of Berlin, argued that a new crisis could emerge in the Russian enclave, which could be as explosive as the war in Ukraine. “I believe that there is no point in giving rise to these phobias now.” Tensions between Lithuania and Russia are likely to increase further as a result of the expansion of the partial blockade. NATO V or activated Since 17 June, Lithuania has prevented shipments to Russian enclaves, and the only train route between Kaliningrad and Russia has been restricted. However, the Government of Lithuania stresses that only goods and persons on the EU sanctions list are subject to the ban, “not the decision of Lithuania”, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielus Lantsbergs, said. On the contrary, Russia regards part of the embargo as “illegal” and “hostile” and claims that it is in breach of its obligations, and has called the EU Ambassador. According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the same time Russia is preparing counter-measures that are not limited to diplomatic channels. According to Liebman, in addition to Ukraine, Lithuania created an escalation point in the “explosive situation”. Lithuania is not only a member of the European Union, but also a member of NATO, and if the dispute in Kaliningrad escalates militarily, the Government of Lithuania may request the activation of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, namely an attack on any of the NATO Contracting Parties, would be considered an attack on all the NATO Contracting Parties. Germany will also have an obligation to provide military assistance to this NATO partner at that time, which will be the beginning of a new world war. Neither Liebman nor the Liberal Democratic Party's diplomatic statesman Alexander Graf Ramsdorf is convinced that Russia can really take military action in Kaliningrad, because the Russian army is now in Ukraine, “and Putin does not have that much resources”. However, not all EU sanctions are in force, and the embargo has so far been limited to between 40 and 50 per cent of all goods in transit. According to the Lithuanian Baltic Times, further sanctions on coal and other solid fossil fuels are planned to enter into force on 10 August, and Russian oil should also be sanctioned from 5 December. The enclave, which is the westernmost point of the Russian Federation, has no direct land connection with Russia and is bordered by Kaliningrad with Poland and Lithuania, as well as with the Baltic Sea. That is why the region is so important in geostrategic and military terms for Moscow – the port of Porodsk, the main base of the Russian Baltic fleet, where more than 25,000 Russian soldiers are said to be stationed. Russia stored short-range Iskander ground-to-ground ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad, with a range of 500 km and carrying nuclear warheads. On land, only 65 kilometres apart between Kaliningrad and Belarus, the “Suvauki Corridor”, is the only land link between Poland and the Baltic States such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Experts estimated that Russia could close the corridor within 30 to 60 hours and isolate the Baltic States from the rest of the EU. Important roads, railways and power lines will be blocked. A gas pipeline will also pass through this interface. In short, land supply to the Baltic EU countries will be stalled. Liebman is convinced of this for a number of reasons. Nor can the partial blockade serve its purpose, “these sanctions will not persuade Russia to compromise in Ukraine”. Some of the blockades do not affect Putin, but the civilian population in the enclaves. “This is not like the blockade in East Berlin,” said the expert. “But Kaliningrad is unable to provide itself. It is also a huge economic constraint. Only about 440,000 people live in Kaliningrad, and despite their remoteness, they are very loyal to the Kremlin. After all, they are economically dependent on Russia. Videos of the unrest in the construction market are already circulating in social media. There is a strong fear that some of the blockades will not only push prices up, but will eventually lead to fewer jobs – for example, construction projects cannot continue because of a lack of materials.


Note: This is a machine translated version of the Chinese news media article. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.



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'Putin can play it in the palm of his hand'


2022-06-24: [Article Link Question: Lithuania’s awakening of Russia’s “Territorial Security Fear” (author Uditegles) As part of Lithuania’s partial blockade of cargo traffic between Russia and Kaliningrad, a new dangerous conflict is imminent. Putin can play it in his hands. This is consistent with his narrative about Europe’s attempt to eliminate Russians. Alexander Liebman, an expert on Eastern Europe at the Free University of Berlin, argued that a new crisis could emerge in the Russian enclave, which could be as explosive as the war in Ukraine. “I believe that there is no point in giving rise to these phobias now.” Tensions between Lithuania and Russia are likely to increase further as a result of the expansion of the partial blockade. NATO V or activated Since 17 June, Lithuania has prevented shipments to Russian enclaves, and the only train route between Kaliningrad and Russia has been restricted. However, the Government of Lithuania stresses that only goods and persons on the EU sanctions list are subject to the ban, “not the decision of Lithuania”, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielus Lantsbergs, said. On the contrary, Russia regards part of the embargo as “illegal” and “hostile” and claims that it is in breach of its obligations, and has called the EU Ambassador. According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the same time Russia is preparing counter-measures that are not limited to diplomatic channels. According to Liebman, in addition to Ukraine, Lithuania created an escalation point in the “explosive situation”. Lithuania is not only a member of the European Union, but also a member of NATO, and if the dispute in Kaliningrad escalates militarily, the Government of Lithuania may request the activation of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, namely an attack on any of the NATO Contracting Parties, would be considered an attack on all the NATO Contracting Parties. Germany will also have an obligation to provide military assistance to this NATO partner at that time, which will be the beginning of a new world war. Neither Liebman nor the Liberal Democratic Party's diplomatic statesman Alexander Graf Ramsdorf is convinced that Russia can really take military action in Kaliningrad, because the Russian army is now in Ukraine, “and Putin does not have that much resources”. However, not all EU sanctions are in force, and the embargo has so far been limited to between 40 and 50 per cent of all goods in transit. According to the Lithuanian Baltic Times, further sanctions on coal and other solid fossil fuels are planned to enter into force on 10 August, and Russian oil should also be sanctioned from 5 December. The enclave, which is the westernmost point of the Russian Federation, has no direct land connection with Russia and is bordered by Kaliningrad with Poland and Lithuania, as well as with the Baltic Sea. That is why the region is so important in geostrategic and military terms for Moscow – the port of Porodsk, the main base of the Russian Baltic fleet, where more than 25,000 Russian soldiers are said to be stationed. Russia stored short-range Iskander ground-to-ground ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad, with a range of 500 km and carrying nuclear warheads. On land, only 65 kilometres apart between Kaliningrad and Belarus, the “Suvauki Corridor”, is the only land link between Poland and the Baltic States such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Experts estimated that Russia could close the corridor within 30 to 60 hours and isolate the Baltic States from the rest of the EU. Important roads, railways and power lines will be blocked. A gas pipeline will also pass through this interface. In short, land supply to the Baltic EU countries will be stalled. Liebman is convinced of this for a number of reasons. Nor can the partial blockade serve its purpose, “these sanctions will not persuade Russia to compromise in Ukraine”. Some of the blockades do not affect Putin, but the civilian population in the enclaves. “This is not like the blockade in East Berlin,” said the expert. “But Kaliningrad is unable to provide itself. It is also a huge economic constraint. Only about 440,000 people live in Kaliningrad, and despite their remoteness, they are very loyal to the Kremlin. After all, they are economically dependent on Russia. Videos of the unrest in the construction market are already circulating in social media. There is a strong fear that some of the blockades will not only push prices up, but will eventually lead to fewer jobs – for example, construction projects cannot continue because of a lack of materials.

Note: This is a translated version of the Chinese news media article. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.

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