Council of Europe does not want to abolish visa system for Kaliningrad region
The Council of Europe, as an organization responsible for human rights observance, does not see any problem in the visa system of transit between the Kaliningrad region (Russia's enclave in the Baltic) and the mainland Russia. This is the preliminary conclusion Russian parliamentarians will have to dispute on September 25 at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg. The European MPs' position is based on the report by Icelandic legislators' representative Lara Margret Ragnarsdottir, who returned on Wednesday from a three-day trip to Kaliningrad, Vilnius, Warsaw and Brussels.
The report notes that European integration envisages full respect of state borders and the territorial integrity of the EU member countries. At the same time state frontiers should not be turned into dividing barriers. The report is called "Human Rights Observance in the Kaliningrad Region in the Light of the EU Expansion." According to the author, the demand for free transit via foreign territories in sealed-up train cars arouses a lot of questions. As for the visa system, it does not always set up dividing lines, the Russo-Finnish border being an example: it is transparent but supposes visas. The same normal thing is about the Russo-Estonian frontier, thinks the author of the report.
The Council of Europe has designed legal instruments and is ready to render assistance in the resolution of this issue