The Russian Economy Ministry will introduce to the government a bill on thespecial status of the Kaliningrad region before the end of 2002, DeputyEconomy Minister Mukhammed Tsikanov stated at today's press conferencewithin the framework of the Baikal economic forum. According to him, thebill suggests that this region will have the status of a special economiczone.The Deputy Minister pointed out that while earlier the Kaliningrad regionhad been "a hole at the customs border of Russia" through which a lot offoreign goods had been imported, it was currently planned to stimulateRussian exports through this region. For this purpose, privilegedconditions will be created for the development of export-orientedindustries. Tsikanov stressed that first of all this concerned thefurniture industry and shipbuilding. Additionally, according to him, it isplanned to provide a long privileged period for companies manufacturingscience-intensive products..
Following Lithuania, Norway has joined the anti-Russian frenzy as well and declared a blockade against the Russian town of Barentsburg. However, Norway has not taken into account the fact that Svalbard is not its original territory