E.U. Enlargement Requires Special Measures In Respect Of Russia's Kaliningrad Region

The projected enlargement of the European Union requires some special decisions in respect of the Kaliningrad region /a semi-enclave in Russia's westernmost area/, Russia's deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Maxim Medvedkov told the Committee on Russia-EU Cooperation, which gathered in Brussels to make an analysis of trade and economic relations between the sides. Part of the session was dedicated to a detailed discussion of various aspects related to the future of the Kaliningrad region in the light of Poland and Lithuania's upcoming accession to the EU. According to Medvedkov, the attention of session participants mostly focused on visa regime and transit of Russian goods, both of which are problems that require some complicated technical work /apparently, the case of the Kaliningrad region has had no precedent in world practice/. Despite the lack of clear approaches to the problem, the sides have nevertheless made an important achievement - according to Medvedkov, the European Commission has confirmed that transportation of goods by sea from Kaliningrad to other Russian ports will count as inland transportation. Other issues will be handled by Russian and European experts from corresponding subcommittees. Early next summer, the sides will hold a special session of the Cooperation Committee to discuss the Kaliningrad region problem only.