How the Kaliningrad stalemate could get serious for Russia and the West

How the Kaliningrad stalemate could get serious for Russia and the West

The daily sleeper train service from the Russian mainland to the exclave of Kaliningrad slides into its penultimate stop shrouded in mystery, curtains drawn, those on board shielded from the realities of the war in Ukraine. You would be forgiven for thinking Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has something to hide when the diesel locomotive and its dozen or so carriages are forced into the sidings by armed border guards primed to board. Trains have crossed the border freely here in the years since the Iron Curtain fell and the heavily militarised Kaliningrad – about the size of Northern Ireland and wedged between Lithuania and Poland – was marooned from Moscow. But this week, decades of unfettered access came to a tense end when Lithuania blocked goods in transit to Kaliningrad, …
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