Ministry working on options to ensure country’s security, says spokesman
The Russian Defense Ministry has a plan in place to ensure the country’s security in the event of NATO expansion, the Kremlin’s spokesman said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, Dmitry Peskov said the defense wing of the government is working to ensure Russia’s security.
“Such options (in case of NATO expansion) are being worked out not in the Kremlin, but in the Defense Ministry. We have already said many times that there are relevant plans (in place), and work is underway to ensure our security,” he stressed.
In response to a question, Peskov denied media reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping had refused to visit Russia, saying the visit would take place once Beijing lifted all COVID-19 restrictions.
He said, “The fact is that certain coronavirus restrictions are still in effect in China, and this is absolutely normal, and it needs to be treated with understanding.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has a valid invitation to visit China, and Xi has a valid invitation to visit Russia. And, as all of these restrictions are eased, all visits will be carried out,” he said.
Responding to a question about switching payments for Russia’s liquefied gas to rubles, he said: “So far, no decisions have been made in this regard. And there are no prepared decrees.”
About calls to transfer Russia’s frozen assets to Ukraine, Peskov said such actions would be “completely, and absolutely illegal.”
“They would contradict all norms and rules of international laws. And Russia would categorically oppose this. And, of course, we are analyzing the measures that can be effective in terms of resolving this illegal situation,” he stressed.
Regarding Lithuania’s ban on Russian goods transiting through its semi-exclave Kaliningrad region, the spokesman said the authorities are working to resolve the issue.
Located on the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania and is separated overland from the main part of Russia by Lithuania, Latvia, and Belarus. The majority of railway transit between Russia and Kaliningrad was carried out through Belarus and Lithuania.
On June 18, Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov announced that Lithuanian railways had notified the region’s authorities of imposing restrictions on the transit of goods that are subject to EU sanctions from Russia to Kaliningrad.
According to Alikhanov, “everything under sanctions” is prohibited to be shipped via the territory of Lithuania.