European Union Recognizes Legal Right of Kaliningrad Residents to Visa-Free Regime

The European Union has acknowledged the legal right of citizens of the Kaliningrad Region to visa-free travel by train to Russia. Nikolai Tulaev, a member of the Federation Council, revealed this to journalists today in St. Petersburg.

However, despite the outwardly positive decision, European officials put forward a host of conditions that make such a resolution of the problem impossible. In particular, the EU believes that the trains should be high-speed and equipped in such a way that passengers would be unable to get off until arrival at their destination. But, said Tulaev, for a variety of reasons such a solution could be put into practice only after 2004. He believes that it is essential to maintain current transit practices.

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