Moscow decries ‘openly hostile’ move to restrict the flow of EU-sanctioned goods to Russian exclave, as Lithuania defends measures.
Published On 20 Jun 2022
Russia’s foreign ministry has demanded the immediate lifting of Lithuania’s “openly hostile” restrictions on the rail transit of EU-sanctioned goods to Moscow’s exclave of Kaliningrad.
Sandwiched between European Union and NATO members Poland and Lithuania, Kaliningrad receives supplies from Russia via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania.
The Baltic nation of Lithuania announced last week that it was banning the rail transit of goods that are subject to EU sanctions from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad.
The list includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology.
“If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The ministry said it had summoned Lithuania’s charge d’affaires in Moscow to protest the “provocative” and “openly hostile” measures.
Earlier on Monday, the Kremlin said Lithuania’s decision was “unprecedented” and “in violation of everything there is”.
“The situation is more than serious and it requires a very deep analysis before formulating any measures and decisions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis defended the move and said his country was simply implementing sanctions imposed by the EU, of which it is a member.
He said the measures were taken after “consultation with the European Commission and under its guidelines”.
“Sanctioned goods (will) no longer be allowed to transit Lithuanian territory,” Landsbergis added.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Vilnius was following EU sanctions.
“Lithuania has not taken any unilateral national restrictions and only applies the European Union sanctions,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
According to Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov, the ban would affect about 50 percent of all imports to the exclave.
The ban was confirmed on Friday by the cargo arm of Lithuania’s state railway service in a letter to clients following “clarification” from the European Commission on the mechanism for applying the sanctions.
Urging citizens not to resort to panic buying, Alikhanov said two vessels were already ferrying goods between Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg, and seven more would be in service by the end of the year.
“Our ferries will handle all the cargo”, he said on Saturday.
Home to the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic sea fleet, the exclave was captured from Nazi Germany by the Red Army in April 1945 and ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II.
Gerrit Cole’s strong outing wasted in Yankees’ no-no loss
This wasn’t what Gerrit Cole had in mind earlier in the week when he laughed at how being on the mound for a no-hitter has eluded him.
Cole spun a gem of a start Saturday, but wound up on the losing end because he shared the rubber with three Astros pitchers who combined on a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Yankees. In a reminder of how cruel baseball can be, Cole twice took no-hitters into the middle of the game or beyond this week and wound up with a no-decision and a loss on his record (6-2).
“The cold hard truth is we got outpitched and outplayed,” Cole said. “Credit to the opponent. Magical day for them.”
Cole lost a no-hitter in the eighth inning Monday against the Rays, but the Yankees still won, which created a light moment when he joked he has never completed the job despite building a résumé with four All-Star selections and an ERA title. There was no such luck or levity Saturday when he would needed perfection — or better — to outduel Astros starter Cristian Javier and two relievers.
Instead, Cole settled for striking out eight and scattering four hits over seven innings.
“Gerrit’s just going to keep doing that,” catcher Jose Trevino said. “That’s good for us in the long run.”
Cole walked two, but did not allow a hit until back-to-back, two-out singles by Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado in the fifth inning. He survived that jam unharmed, but his 101st pitch was his big mistake in the seventh inning of a scoreless game.
J.J. Matijevic turned on a low-inside fastball and deposited it into the right-field seats for a homer as his reward for showing patience laying off a first pitch in the dirt. The rookie first baseman’s only two career hits have been solo home runs.
“I tried to make an adjustment and I obviously overcorrected and threw the pitch into an area that he was anticipating or he wasn’t going to be late on,” Cole said. “Not the side of the plate that we were trying to go to. It was honestly just a bad miss, but I don’t want to take any credit away from the guy who put a good swing on it.”
The solace is that Cole is pitching like an ace. He has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last six starts. Matijevic’s home run snapped Cole’s 21-inning scoreless streak at home.
“Right away he was getting swing-and miss-with his heater, which was big while he was finding it those first two innings,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I thought his stuff was really good. Once he settled in, he was terrific.”
4 wounded, including 8-year-old, in Brooklyn scooter shooting
Four people were wounded — including an 8-year-old boy — in a scooter shooting in Brooklyn on Saturday night, police said.
Two men riding on a scooter pulled up around 11:30 p.m. to a large gathering of people in front of the Stuyvesant Gardens Houses on Quincy Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant and opened fire into the crowd, cops said.
An 8-year-old boy received a graze wound in the leg. A 27-year-old male, a 35-year-old female and a 46-year-old female were also each shot in the legs.
All four victims were transported to Kings County Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The suspects fled on a green and white scooter in an unknown direction, according to police and sources.
Six shell casings and two live rounds were recovered at the scene, sources said.
No arrests have been made at this time as police continued to canvas the area early Sunday morning.
Man arrested for attempted murder of LAPD officers amid Roe v. Wade protests
A man was charged with attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers Friday night amid protests of the Roe v. Wade reversal, cops said.
A woman was also charged with resisting police after four officers were injured following a barrage of projectiles, fireworks and a makeshift blow torch, according to officials.
The mayhem unfolded around 8:20 p.m. in Downtown Los Angeles, the LAPD said.
Michael Ortiz, 30, is accused of throwing a makeshift flame thrower at an officer, who was treated for burns, according to a Saturday press release.
Juliana Bernado, 23, allegedly attempted to steal an officer’s baton. A “less-lethal” bullet was fired at her, and she was taken into custody, police said.
“I condemn the violence against officers that occurred last night and into today,” Chief Michel Moore said.
“Individuals participating in such criminal activity are not exercising their 1st Amendment rights in protest of the Supreme Court decision, rather, they are acting as criminals.
The Department will vigorously pursue prosecution of these individuals.”
Large scale protests in other cities large and small around the country were mostly peaceful.
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