Russia Warns Baltic States of Sanctions Over Hostility

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.05 - 2024 11:54 AM CET

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Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Following recent escalations, Russia announces potential economic and transit sanctions against Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in response to what it deems hostile actions.

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Russia has officially voiced its intention to impose economic and transit sanctions on the Baltic nations—Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

This decision comes as a direct response to the "hostile actions" from these neighboring countries, according to Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Response to Baltic Hostility

Zakharova, in statements reported by RIA Novosti, expressed that Russia will employ "asymmetric measures" primarily in economic and transit sectors to counteract the Baltic states.

She detailed that due to hostile policies from Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn, all intergovernmental and interdepartmental connections, as well as regional and sectoral links with Russia, have been severed.

Despite the rising tensions, Zakharova pointed out the importance of maintaining diplomatic channels.

She highlighted the undesirable consequences of severing diplomatic relations, noting it would leave Russian citizens and expatriates in the Baltic states vulnerable to what she described as "police arbitrariness."

Baltic Military Maneuvers

Adding to the regional strain, the commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Martin Herem, proposed last Friday to block the Baltic Sea to Russian ships.

Herem indicated Estonia has the capabilities, including sea mines and anti-ship missiles, to enforce such a blockade if necessary.

This suggestion aligns with statements made last October by Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs concerning potential closures of the Baltic Sea to Russian vessels following allegations of Moscow's involvement in damaging the Balticconnector gas pipeline and a telecommunications cable between Sweden and Estonia.

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