Kaliningrad Residents View EU Expansion with Trepidation

A large portion of the population of the Kaliningrad Region awaits with apprehension the eastward expansion of the European Union. The results of a survey taken in the Kaliningrad Sociological Centre between June 14 and 22 testify to this. Deputy Director of the Centre Valerii Baykov told a Rosbalt correspondent that the majority of Kaliningrad residents believe that the region will be isolated, and that travel to the rest of Russia will be very difficult for people of low means.

In the opinion of 46% of those questioned, negative consequences for the region's economy are inevitable - supply of both raw materials and processed products will become complicated, so prices will rise. At the same time, 22% of respondents are confident that the standard of living in the region will not drop after Poland and Lithuania's entry into the EU, and 8% even predict improvements. According to Baykov, affluent people are the most optimistic about the issue.

On the question of whether or not Russia should oppose the introduction by contiguous countries of a visa regime, 80% replied affirmatively, while 9% consider that this would not be appropriate. Baykov said that respondents base this on a reluctance to bear new financial burdens and be subordinated to 'Eurocrats'. Many respondents consider that it would be an infringement of human rights.

1247 people took part in the survey.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team