Ex-president accuses Lithuanian politicians of cowardliness over Kaliningrad transit

  • 2022-07-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Former Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says the situation around the Kaliningrad transit demonstrates the inability of Lithuania's political elite to make strategic decisions.

"Lithuanian politicians are dancing a weak-kneed person's part in a political ballet", the ex president posted on Facebook on Thursday after the European Commission on Wednesday allowed the transit of sanctioned Russian goods to Kaliningrad for the needs of this Russian exclave.

Grybauskaite believes Lithuanian politicians should have communicated this decision without hiding behind the Commission's back.

"All they had to do was to say openly that the decision was taken following consultations with partners and the EC. And there was no need to hide behind the EC's back so awkwardly," Grybauskaitė wrote.

"So far, the political elite have demonstrated their inability to make strategic foreign policy decisions. This is why we see this kind of flouncing and pathetic communication", she said.

Lithuania suspended the transit of some Russian goods to Kaliningrad after the EU sanctions, imposed for Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine, came into force, citing the EC's previous guidelines barring transit.

Lithuanian and EC representatives have been consulting on new guidelines in recent weeks following Russia's outcry over the suspension of steel transit in June.

Earlier in the day, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said it would be irrational to continue arguing about the Kaliningrad transit with Western partners. She said one should focus on supporting Ukraine, as it's fighting against Russian invasion, and also on new sanctions for Moscow.