Kaliningrad: Russia’s National Security

Viktor Ilyukhin, Communist deputy in the Russian State Duma: A new treaty is to be developed and ratified between Russia and Lithuania
This is an extract from the parliamentary sessions dedicated to the Kaliningrad region and international and geopolitical aspects of Russia’s national security.

The problem with the Kaliningrad region is the problem of the security of the whole of Russia, as well as an economic and social problem. It is to be admitted that the West is doing its best to deprive the Russian Federation of the Kaliningrad region. It is an example of the revision of WWII and the renunciation of many international agreements, including the Helsinki agreements on the post-war world order concluded in 1975.

Let’s return to 1997, when the RF government concluded a treaty with Lithuania, a treaty which took no account of Russia’s interests concerning the Kaliningrad region. The State Duma practically refused to ratify the treaty, although the government and presidential administration made much effort to have it ratified. To my mind, currently, we need the will of the president to abandon the treaty, as the legal procedure is simple in fact. The treaty wasn’t ratified; why has there been so much talks about it within the past 4-5 years?

It is really very important to develop and ratify a new Russia-Lithuania treaty based on historical facts and will meet the interests of both sides. Much has already been spoken about the historical facts. Here are just a few of them. The Soviet Union gave the Klaipeda region to Lithuania’s administrative management, and only administrative management, I stress, in 1950. The Klaipeda region had been part of Eastern Prussia, the same way Konigsberg was. The Vilensky region wasn’t in the Lithuania structure before October 1939.

When we think on the Kaliningrad region problem, we should remember that Lithuania doesn’t admit that it had been a republic of the Soviet Union. And if so, it should return to its position as it had been before its entry in the USSR. Here is the status quo, if the status quo has been declared. Lithuania still exists as a state, and it still maintains relations with Russia only because the world community recognizes the situation about which we have been talking. Without this condition, any talks concerning the Kaliningrad region with the European states won’t be effective for several reasons.

First, the West won’t help Russia to make considerable concessions, as its objectives are quite different from the Russia’s. Second, we have already mentioned that here in Russia there are forces that, the same way as during the break-up of the USSR, are ready to tear the Kaliningrad region away from the Russian Federation. For this very reason, the currently held talks shouldn’t become a shield for the actual intentions of the West and for Russia’s fifth column. It’s a pity that the “democratic” forces make up a steady majority in the Kaliningrad regional Duma. We shouldn’t forget that the “democratic” forces initiated the break-up of the Soviet Union. It is unlikely that this time we will prevail against them.

It is suspicious that, at the time when the contingent of Polish and NATO troops on the Kaliningrad region’s borders has been suddenly increased, the Russian General Staff and the Staff Commander Anatoly Kvashnin suggested an initiative as a result of which the Russian contingent in the region has been reduced by ten times within the past few years; just imagine how great the reduction is! What is more, the troops are poorly armed.

It is not clear why the RF government decided to reduce the 2003 budgetary financing to the federal program for the Kaliningrad region’s development. It is especially strange, as financing mustn’t be reduced; on the contrary, it should be increased several times for development of the strategic region.

As for an isthmus that could join Russia with the Kaliningrad region via Belarus, the recent statement concerning the union of Russia and Belarus made by President Putin is considered as a deliberate blow not only against the Russia-Belarus union, but also a blow against the Kaliningrad region. This will make the connection between the Kaliningrad region and the mainland weaker. My strongest belief is that Russia’s geopolitical interests in the North-West of Europe can be protected and observed only with the help of Russia-Belarus union.

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/science/10486-duma_kaliningradskaja_oblast_litva/

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