Retired Lieutenant-General Evgeny Buzhinsky lashed out at British general Sir Patrick Sanders, saying: “The island will vanish, so I’ve no idea where he or his descendants will live”
The UK will “physically cease to exist” if the new standoff in Lithuania triggers a nuclear World War 3, warned a retired Russian general and military expert.
Lieutenant-General Evgeny Buzhinsky told Russian state TV the West is playing with fire in blockading Russian exclave Kaliningrad to prevent sanctioned goods reaching the territory via NATO state Lithuania.
He lashed out at British general Sir Patrick Sanders, who took command of the UK’s land forces this week with a rallying call to troops to prepare to fight and beat Russian forces in a World War 3.
“He doesn’t understand that as a result of the Third World War Britain will physically cease to exist,” said Buzhinsky.
“The island will vanish, so I’ve no idea where he or his descendants will live.”
In his message to troops, General Sanders had said: “I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power…
“The scale of the enduring threat from Russia shows we’ve entered a new era of insecurity. It is my singular duty to make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be. The time is now and the opportunity is ours to seize.”
Buzhinsky warned that alongside the war in Ukraine, the Kaliningrad situation is “deeply serious”, and claimed the West had ulterior motives.
He urged Vladimir Putin to respond immediately by sending nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad, former the Prussian outpost of Königsberg and the country’s most westerly territory, which is wedged between Lithuania and Poland, and is also the headquarters of the Kremlin’s Baltic Fleet.
“This is a long game to push us out from the Baltic Sea, an attempt to block and cut Kaliningrad off, and finally to take it away from us,” he claimed.
The West intended to “block Kaliningrad economically, completely, until our people howl from destitution”.
Putin should “disavow the 1991 recognition of Lithuania, disavow the agreement with the EU on Lithuania, including on their borders, then switch Lithuania off from energy”, he said.
“And then finally we must take military measures.”
Buzhinsky, who served in senior positions in the Russian defence ministry, urged the Kremlin to take control of the so-called Suvalkovsky corridor – the supply route across Lithuania from Russian ally Belarus.
“We need to demonstratively move nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad, our Iskanders,” he told pro-Putin TV anchor Yevgeny Popov on Rossiya 1 channel.
Iskander missiles are currently based in Kaliningrad but without nuclear warheads, he said.
“We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to strengthen our military presence at the border with Lithuania as we did in December last year, and January this year at the border with Ukraine.”
Russia should tell the Americans “first via confidential channels, that they are playing with fire”.
He added: “You guys will actually play to the point that Russia won’t stop, because this is a threat to our national security, an attempt on our sovereign territory.”
Buzhinsky then warned: “The world will feel it. Ukrainian grain will seem like a joke compared to our decisive steps.”
He was asked: “In other words this is war with NATO?”
He replied: “Yes – what else do we do? Otherwise they’ll simply strangle us. We can’t stop, otherwise they’ll deprive us of Kaliningrad.”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that all trust has now evaporated between the West and Moscow.
“Relations between Russia and the West will not be back to the previous level, because Moscow will never again trust such ‘partners’,” he told MSNBC.
He warned: “It will be a lengthy crisis, but we will never trust the West again.”
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the West’s action against Lithuania “openly hostile”.
“Lithuania must understand that the characterisation of Vilnius’s actions on Kaliningrad transit as ‘hostile’ means the time for talks has gone,” she told pro-Kremlin TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov.
“It is them [the Lithuanian authorities] who behave aggressively. They have crossed the line of international law and towards unfriendly, rough actions.
“It is them who behave provocatively, aggressively – hostile.”
Lithuania had informed Kaliningrad’s railways that from June 18 the transit of some goods from Russia was limited due to EU sanctions.
The Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov said the move was illegal and violated the agreements that the country committed to when joining the EU.
Between 2002 and 2009, Buzhinsky, 72, was head of the International Treaty Directorate and Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation at the Russian Ministry of Defence.