Russian State Duma supports Russian leaders' stand on Kaliningrad

The Russian State Duma on its plenary Wednesday session announced its support of the Russian leaders' stand concerning the Kaliningrad region, Russia's enclave in the Baltic, and criticized the EU countries' policy in this respect.

The MPs unanimously adopted the proposed resolution as a basis. The document received 401 votes, with 226 necessary.

The document expresses serious anxiety about the development of the situation with the Kaliningrad region, that in connection with the EU expansion may become isolated from the rest of Russia in near future.

The State Duma expressed its support of Russian president Vladimir Putin's principal stand on this issue.

The MPs regret that Russia's proposals on visa-free regime for Russian citizens and free cargo transit between Kaliningrad and the rest of the country have not met understanding with the EU member states.

They believe that recommendations of the European Parliament resolutions to apply the flexible Schengen visa regime "to Russian citizens residing in the Kaliningrad region are absolutely unacceptable." "This regime aims at making the constitutional right of Russian citizens - inhabitants of Kaliningrad and other regions - to freely move over the country's territory dependent on decisions of foreign countries' officials," the Russian MPs said.

The State Duma believes that the intention of creating visa, customs or other artificial barriers for transit communication between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia may be considered as lack of respect to Russia's sovereignty and violating the universally acknowledged principles and norms of the international law on the part of the EU.

"There is an impression that the European Union is purposefully acting to create conditions for alienating the Kaliningrad region from the Russian Federation," the resolution reads.

The State Duma asks President Vladimir Putin to charge the government and the foreign ministry with continuing the firm non-compromising line in talks with the EU on life sustenance in Kaliningrad in order not to allow encroachments on Russian citizens' constitutional right to free movement over the country's territory.

The Russian MPs call on EU state parliaments, the European Council Parliamentary Assembly, Poland's Seim and Lithuania's Seim "to be guided by understanding that the EU expansion should not lead to new dividing lines on Europe's map that would hamper the creation of All-European humanitarian, economic, and social space, and strengthening of the strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and EU" in their approaches to the Kaliningrad problem.

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