Putin addresses Russia’s neighbors

Lithuania stops importation of Russian LNG

Russia’s neighbors should stop ‘stirring unnecessary tensions’ and instead focus on rebuilding relations with Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

“I want to stress again that we have no … we’ve been always saying this, there are no ill intentions towards our neighbors,” Putin pointed out during a video-conference on Friday.

“I would also advise them not to stir tensions, not to introduce any restrictions,” he said, adding there was no need for bordering nations to further deteriorate ties with Russia.

Moscow makes its moves only in response to some unfriendly actions aimed against it, the president pointed out.

“Everybody should think about normalizing relations and cooperating in a routine manner, developing relations normally,” Putin said.

The head of state used a video link to attend a flag-hosting ceremony on a state of the art ferry that will transfer cargo between Russia and its enclave region of Kaliningrad in the Baltics.

Putin decided to address Russia’s neighbors after the Kaliningrad region’s governor, Anton Alikhanov, praised the new ferry for boosting the enclave’s transport security. According to the governor, sea travel remained the only means of transportation between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia that couldn’t be affected by the political decisions of other regional players.

The enclave borders Poland and Lithuania, which – together with the rest of the EU – closed its airspace for Russian planes last week in response to Moscow’s decision to send troops to Ukraine in order to “demilitarize” the Kiev government and stop the “genocide” in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Returning to the issue of sanctions, Putin acknowledged that they hurt Russia, but added that they also hurt those who imposed them.

Such restrictions could delay some projects jointly developed by Russia and foreign partners, but they wouldn’t derail them completely, he said. According to Putin, the country will just develop its own competence to be able to replace the imported technologies with homemade analogues, something that has already happened in aviation and other sectors.

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