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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/22/22

Lithuania escalates the risk of WWIII with transit blackade

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Two videos, and many others, exemplify the red zone danger of escalation by Lithuania by its "just following the EU sanctions orders" action of blocking transit by Russian trains across Lithuania to reach Kalingrad, a territory Russia has held since WWII. These two videos have been viewed by over 200,000 people as of this early writing, and others on the same topic by 100s of thousands more, so there is both high interest and high anxiety about this development. It is not some backwater development in the EU, but a major escalation in the thus far Russia-Ukraine war.


Transit is not trade, and is therefore not subject to a trade embargo.

Also, Russia is not "trading" with itself, under the EU concept of the trade embargo, so the embargo restrictions should not apply here. It is awkward to have an adversary transit across one's territory, it is true, but there are better, and legal, ways to deal with that, e.g. by fortifying the territory along the tracks with troops or other security arrangements, or not permitting Russian goods or people to debark in Lithuania (probably the case already).

This action by Lithuania, unforced by the EU or NATO, is a needless and highly dangerous escalation and the U.S. and president Biden should declare it an "incorrect application of the trade embargo and sanctions" and strongly encourage Lithuania and the EU to reconsider. NATO's alliance pact must not become a suicide pact. And transit across Lithuania has existed since WWII and has not threatened the territorial integrity of Lithuania and should not do so now.

Unless Lithuania quickly changes its course, the risk of WWIII has just risen substantially.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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