Are Russia’s threats against Lithuania unfounded? According to the former NATO Secretary-General, they cannot be fully disregarded. Anders Fogh Rasmussen pointed out that if Vladimir Putin’s soldiers want to violate the borders of one of the Alliance members, they should expect consequences.
A ban on rail transit of steel and ferrous metal products between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia via Lithuania took effect on 17 June. Vilnius introduced these restrictions as part of European Union sanctions imposed on Russia because it had invaded Ukraine. Russia accused Lithuania of stopping transit and announced retaliatory measures.
Furthermore, during a meeting between Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, the leader of the Belarusian regime called these actions a declaration of war by Lithuania. According to the former secretary of the North Atlantic Alliance, these words cannot be fully downplayed.
World War III
Anders Fogh Rasmussen was asked about a possible armed conflict between NATO and Russia by the Ukrainian editorial board rbc.ua. He stated that he would like to unequivocally answer that there is no such option, but in his opinion, this is prevented by threats from Russia to Lithuania.
“After the Russian threats to Lithuania on transit through Lithuania, I have to warn and declare that if Russia touches Lithuanian borders, it will be an article 5 situation that will initiate a decisive NATO military response. This is a conflict with Russia,” Rasmussen said.
Recall that NATO’s Article Five states that any attack on any member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should be interpreted by the other member states as an attack on themselves.
In contrast, in mid-February this year, US President Joe Biden stated that if “the Americans and Russians start shooting at each other, another world war will break out”.