Security was stepped at Vilnius and Naujoji Vilnia Train Stations in Lithuania on Thursday in response to information that Russian army conscripts might be crossing to the Russian region of Kaliningrad via Lithuania.
Rokas Pukinskas, a spokesman for the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service, partially confirmed the information.
“Information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department was received that a lot of young conscription-age men are going on this train. This is why security was stepped up. Our officers inspected the train but all the passengers had valid documents and visas. We have no problems with them and we cannot stop them from crossing our territory,” he told DELFI.
On Tuesday, Russia launched drills to test its armed forces’ readiness in some regions, including Kaliningrad, and moved fighter jets, bombers and Iskander missile system to the enclave for the exercises.
Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas told reporters on Thursday that the government had been alerted of a possibility of a large number of Russian troops crossing Lithuania. The alert did not prove to be correct.
“From what we know, students of a navy school were on the train. And they went on [to Kaliningrad],” Olekas said.
He added that heightened security at the stations that the train passed was just a precautionary measure. “So others do not come,” he said.
Meanwhile, overwhelming majority (112 lawmakers) of the Lithuanian Parliament voted in favour of restoring conscription in the country. Three MPs voted against and five abstained.