EU and Russia reach a deal on Kaliningrad

The EU and Russia have reached an agreement on
transit between Russia and its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad
that will be surrounded by EU territory once Poland and
Lithuania join the Union.

Under the agreement of the EU-Russia Summit on 11 November,
the inhabitants of Kaliningrad will need an inexpensive,
multi-entry travel transit document. Travellers using
trains will be able to obtain transit documents at the
border. Lithuania will be able to refuse transit to
undesirable passengers or illegal immigrants. The EU also
agreed to undertake a feasibility study on non-stop trains
between Kaliningrad and Russia that would remove the need
for transit documents.

The agreement will facilitate EU-Russian
relations, which have been strained for more than a year
because the EU had been insisting on visa requirements for
travel between Russia and its enclave.

The two sides also agreed on closer
co-operation in the fight against terrorism. The Russian
President Vladimir Putin stated that combatting terrorism
had become more urgent after the recent Chechen
hostage-taking in a Moscow theatre. However, the EU and
Russia disagreed on Chechnya, with the Union insisting on
political dialogue as the means of resolving the crisis,
whilst Russia is pressing ahead with a new military
operation.

 

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