Thursday the Russian government will for the third time re-examine the draft federal program "Kaliningrad Region Development till 2010." The Kaliningrad region is a Russian enclave on the Baltic coast. Wednesday sources in the Russian Ministry of Economic Development told RIA Novosti that realization of the program was scheduled for two stages. The first stage (in 2002-2005) will include measures on overcoming the regional economy crisis. The second stage (in 2006-2010) stipulates further development measures. The tentative cost of all measures is $3 billion, 20% of which is to be allocated at the federal budget expense. The basic fields of regional development include improvement of the transport services, construction of a large international transport center, reconstruction of the container terminal, construction of a deep-water port in the Baltiysk town, reconstruction of highways, railroads, and the airport. As far as the energy sphere is concerned, the program envisages construction of a new thermo-power station and modernization of the old one, reconstruction of the gas pipe-line. Other fields of development include communications: laying a fibre-optic line to St.Petersburg, updating the phone communication system, along with boosting tourism and environmental protection.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia