Russian Parliament called for "A tough stand" on the issue of the Kaliningrad region

The State House (lower parliamentary house) called on President Vladimir Putin to instruct the Foreign Ministry "to take a tough stand on the issues pertaining to the Kaliningrad Region (Russia's enclave in the West) at the talks with the EU." The resolution was amended to include the deputies' appeal to the Russian leadership to demand the introduction of a simplified procedure for the issue of multiple Schengen visas of unlimited duration to all residents of the region at the talks with the EU.

The draft resolution was adopted in general on Wednesday June 19.

The deputies stated their support for the Russian leadership's stand on the issue of the Kaliningrad Region and criticised the policy relevant of the EU countries. The resolution expresses the deputies concern over the development of the situation around the region, which may become isolated from the rest of Russia soon owing to the EU enlargement. The deputies regret that the EU neglected Russia's idea of a visa-free travel of Russian citizens and free transit of cargoes between the region and the rest of Russia.

The State Duma deputies believe that the recommendations of the European Parliament's resolutions to apply the notorious flexible Schengen visa regime "to the citizens of Russia who reside in the Kaliningrad Region are not acceptable." "This procedure is designed to make the constitutional right of Russian citizens who reside in the Kaliningrad Region and other parts of Russia to free travel around the national territory dependent on the decision of bureaucrats of a foreign country."

The State Duma holds that the intention to create a visa, customs or any other artificial barrier to the transit communication between the Kaliningrad Region and the rest of Russia can be evaluated as neglect of the sovereignty of Russia and violation of the generally recognised principles and norms of international law by the EU.

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