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EU May Be Trying to Defuse Kaliningrad Standoff With Eased Rules

  • Countries raise concerns as Lithuania pressured soften stance
  • Moscow threatens retaliation as Vilnius calls it propaganda
The Kybartai border crossing in Kybartai, Lithuania. 

The Kybartai border crossing in Kybartai, Lithuania. 

Photographer: Paulius Peleckis/Getty Images

Some European countries are raising concerns that the European Union is trying to pressure Lithuania into watering down the bloc’s sanctions to allow some banned goods to transit through its territory to Russia’s Baltic exclave Kaliningrad, according to people familiar with the matter. 

The worries come as the standoff over Kaliningrad escalates, with Lithuanian government institutions reporting a fresh wave of “intense” cyber attacks. Russia has said it will retaliate against the EU member state for blocking rail transport of goods such as steel in accordance with the bloc’s sanction measures.