Kaliningrad is not worth a war. For once, Russia is right, and NATO is wrong!
The city is located on the Baltic Sea and is completely cut off from Russia, which owns it and it’s surrounded by Poland and Lithuania. Maps show it as an enclave hanging out on the Baltic, part of Russia but isolated from it geographically.
Conquered by the Red Army in 1945, its million people are Russian citizens governed from Moscow. The Potsdam Treaty of 1945 awarded it to Russia.
It is strategically important to Russia because it is the home of the Russian Baltic Sea fleet and the only warm water port on Russia’s ice locked coast.
But now Lithuania is messing with it, barring any products sanctioned by the EU from crossing Lithuanian territory to reach Kaliningrad and, through it, the sea lanes of the world. Lithuania is wrong and, this time, Russia is right.
The right of Russia to access Kaliningrad is a modern metaphor for the Allied ability to access Berlin during the Cold War even though the city was surrounded by communist East Germany. We almost had a world war to guarantee that access in 1947 when Russia tried to do what Lithuania is now doing — barring access through its territory. The U.S. heroically supplied Berlin, the capital of a nation we had just defeated two years before, by an airlift thwarting Moscow’s ambition.
All Moscow wants to do now is to move EU sanctioned products from one part of Russia to another, something it has every right to do.
The U.S. and NATO need to tell Lithuania to back off. We do not want to go to war to protect Lithuania, now a member of NATO. They just need to get real.
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