VILNIUS – Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite says she doesn’t take Russia's threats related to the suspension of the transit of some of its goods through Lithuania to Kaliningrad seriously, saying that Lithuania is independent from Russia because "it doesn’t buy either electricity or gas from Russia".
"Naturally, cyber attacks do not help the general and investment environment, but we are, so to speak, accustomed to their (Russia's – BNS) ways of doing things," Armonaite told reporters on Monday after a presentation of Lithuania's space sector in Vilnius.
According to the minister, Russia may put pressure not on Lithuania, but on other EU countries, such as Germany, over the suspended transit.
"What (Russia - BNS) could possibly do is to put pressure on countries that are more dependent on energy resources from Russia, such as Germany or others. However, we do not foresee such direct economic consequences because Lithuania doesn’t have any significant economic relations (with Russia - BNS) at the moment," the minister said.
As of Sunday, when the transitional period of the EU's fifth package of sanctions for Russia ended, a ban on the transit of cement, alcohol and other products of Russian origin to the Russian region of Kaliningrad via Lithuanian came into force.
On June 17, a ban on the transit of Russian steel and ferrous metals entered into force, while coal and other solid fossil fuels will no longer be allowed to cross EU territory from August 10, and a similar ban on Russian oil and its products is scheduled to come into force on December 5.
Russia says these are hostile and unilateral steps taken by Lithuania and calls them Kaliningrad's blockade, which Lithuania denies. The country calls it Russian information propaganda and points out that that transit is subject to the existing EU sanctions.