Lithuanian President Says Country Is Prepared For Any ‘unfriendly Actions’ By Russia

Lithuanian President Says Country Is Prepared For Any ‘unfriendly Actions’ By Russia

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3 hr 18 min agoLithuanian president says country is prepared for any “unfriendly actions” by RussiaFrom CNN’s Chris Liakos

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda speaks during an interview in Vilnius, Lithuania, on June 22. (Ints Kalnins/Reuters)Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said his country is ready for some form of retaliation by Russia after it banned the transit of certain goods subject to European Union sanctions across its territory and into the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

“We are ready and we are prepared for some kind of unfriendly actions from the side of Russia, disconnection from the BRELL system or other actions,” said Nauseda, speaking to Reuters in a video published Wednesday. The BRELL system is a power grid shared between Russia, Belarus and Baltic states.

He said he does not believe Russia will challenge Lithuania militarily because his country is a NATO member.

Nauseda defended the decision to block the passage of some goods, saying they’re implementing what was decided on a European Union level.

“We just implement the sanctions, which were imposed on European Union level, and this has nothing to do with the bilateral relations between Russia and the Lithuania,” Nauseda said. “We are looking forward to implement next stages of the sanctions, and it would be very good that European Commission explains the content of the sanctions to the Russian authorities and probably it will remove some tensions which are arising right now,” he added, warning that the escalation of tensions won’t benefit either side.

Earlier Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that retaliatory measures for Lithuania’s transit ban on European Union-sanctioned goods to Russia through Kaliningrad were being discussed. Peskov did not elaborate what those measures could entail and said there was no exact timeline for Moscow’s response.

3 hr 27 min agoGermany will train Ukrainian soldiers on Mars II systems From CNN’s Chris Stern in Berlin

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht speaks during a session of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, on June 22. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)The German military is planning to train Ukrainian soldiers up on the Multiple Launch Rocket System Mars II, defense minister Christine Lambrecht said in the German parliament Wednesday.

The training to be conducted in Germany could start as early as next week, Lambrecht said, adding that once those instructions have been concluded, delivery of that weapons system could start.

Germany would deliver three such systems to Ukraine, with the UK matching that number, and the US would deliver four Multiple Rocket Launch Systems (MLRS), she added.

3 hr 31 min agoGerman government warns Russia against retaliatory measures over Kaliningrad disputeFrom CNN’s Stephanie Halasz

Freight train cars from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad are seen at the border railway station in Kybartai, some 200 kms (124 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, on June 22. (Mindaugas Kulbis/AP)The German government has warned Russia not to take countermeasures over the dispute of freight traffic to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. 

“We call on Russia not to take any measures that violate international law,” German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said. 

He said that Lithuania had taken these actions within the European Union framework of sanctions on Russia. Only certain goods are affected by the sanctions, and no people have been sanctioned. 

“We therefore clearly reject countermeasures announced by Russia,” Hebestreit said during a regularly scheduled government news conference in Berlin.  Some background: The Kremlin has said Lithuania’s transit ban on European Union-sanctioned goods to Russia through Kaliningrad is “unacceptable.”

“We are convinced that the sanctions adopted by the EU are absolutely unacceptable. Applying these sanctions regarding transit to Kaliningrad and back simply contradicts fundamental agreements,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday, adding that retaliatory measures are being discussed.

Peskov refused to elaborate what those measures could entail and said there was no exact timeline for Moscow’s response, but that it will announce them when they are ready.

“(Response) measures are being prepared. After we carefully weigh everything, we will talk about it,” he said.

4 hr 1 min agoUkraine says city of Mykolaiv struck with 7 missilesFrom CNN’s Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

The city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine was struck by seven missiles on Wednesday, the head of the regional military administration, Vitaly Kim, said on his Telegram channel. 

Kim was inspecting local harvests when the alleged attack occurred. 

“I have interrupted the inspection in the district. I return to the city. The city was hit with seven missiles,” he wrote. 

One person was killed and two were injured as missiles struck, the city’s mayor Oleksandr Sienkevych said Wednesday.

“As of now we know about two private enterprises affected. Some fuel and lubricant materials were on the premises of these enterprises,” Sienkevych said. “Due to the missile hit into one of the enterprises the fuel and lubricant materials set on fire and now the whole city is covered with the black smoke. The firefighters are working on spot.”

According to the mayor, a school and a five-story building were also affected by the blasts and have had their windows shattered. The school also suffered damaged to the roof. 

“We also received the information about four private houses which were damaged,” he added.

Russian authorities and Russian media did not immediately report on the incident and CNN could not independently verify Kim’s claim that seven missiles had struck the city.

Mykolaiv was the site of a fierce battle in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion, but it was successfully defended by Ukrainian forces.

4 hr 43 min agoTurkish and Russian defense ministers discuss grain exports from Ukrainian portsFrom CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

A Russian soldier guards a pier with grain storage in the background at an area of the Mariupol Sea Port, eastern Ukraine, on June 12. (AP)Russia’s defense ministry said it discussed grain exports fro

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