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Russian deputy PM mocks Lithuania's disavowal of claims to Kaliningrad region

January 31, 3:07 updated at: January 31, 4:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Praise God! And we were already shaking in our shoes," he wrote

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© Alexander Astafjevs/TASS

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister has mocked the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's statetement disavowing a demand by a Lithuanian parliament deputy to take Russia's Baltic exclave Kaliningrad region away from Russia.

Rogozin's comment appeared in Facebook.

"Praise God! And we were already shaking in our shoes," he wrote.

Earlier this month, Lithuanian MP Linas Balsys, a representative of the Green Party, said at a conference titled ‘World in 2017: The View from Vilnius’ that Russia had lost legal rights to the Kaliningrad region after what he described as the "annexation" of Crimea and the status of the exclave, which is part of the former German province of East Prussia, needed consideration at the international level.

"Time has run out for Kaliningrad," Balsys alleged. "Kaliningrad was not given to Russia in perpetuity, either at the Potsdam Conference or at Helsinki. It was [only] said that the region would be put under Soviet administration until a final European peace agreement is signed."

Russian political analysts dismissed the claim, saying Balsys was apparently seeking political promotion for himself. They also said statements of the kind did not make any practical sense, as they were fraught with dire consequences for Lithuania itself, since it might lose sovereignty over the large ice-free port of Klaipeda (formerly Memel) if the legal status of the Kaliningrad region changed somehow.

Jasa Jakilaitiene, the official spokesperson for the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said later on Lithuania did not have territorial claims to any of its neighbors and was not raising any questions regarding the status of the Kaliningrad region.

Kaliningrad, known as Koenigsberg before 1946, was the capital of Germany’s province of East Prussia. In line with the 1945 Potsdam accords, the northern part of the province went over to the Soviet Union upon the completion of World War II hostilities in Europe.

 

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