The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, hundreds of miles west of the rest of the country, is the latest flash point Between Moscow and the rest of Europe as the fallout from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war reverberates beyond Ukraine.
Sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland – both of which are European Union and NATO members – Kaliningrad sits on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. It receives much of its supplies via routes through Lithuania and Belarus.
Lithuania said in mid-June that it would bar the transit of Kaliningrad-bound goods sanctioned by the EU, including coal, metals and construction materials, through its territory. The Kremlin called the move “unprecedented and illegal” and summoned the EU’s top diplomat in Moscow to complain. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said the response would have a “serious” impact on the Lithuanian people.
Here’s what to know about this isolated Russian exclave and how it is tangled up in the war in Ukraine.