Europe & the World

EU/Russia: Kaliningrad gets closer to Europe

14 December 2011
Presseurop
Gazeta Wyborcza

The inhabitants of Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave squeezed between Poland and Lithuania, will soon be able to travel without visas to Gdańsk and other cities on the Polish side of the border.

Poles from the Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian provinces, in turn, will no longer need a Russian visa to go to the Kaliningrad Region to buy petrol, for example, much cheaper there than in Poland, rejoices Gazeta Wyborcza.

All this thanks to an agreement on small cross border movement which is to be signed in Moscow on December 14 by the foreign ministers of Russia and Poland. "Russian diplomacy can claim that this Moscow's first tangible success in relations with the EU. It's been years since Russia signed any deal with the EU [...] dialogue between us has so far been mainly ritual", a Polish diplomat told the Warsaw daily.

Meanwhile Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope that the agreement would “herald completely visa-free movement between Russia and the EU".