Vladimir Putin: Kaliningrad should become cooperation zone for Russia and EU

Kaliningrad should become a region for cooperation between Russia and the European Union, according to a statement by President Vladimir Putin. The president was speaking to students at Kaliningrad State University yesterday as part of a two-day visit to the region.

'The fact that the Kaliningrad Region has become a Russian enclave within Europe sets us difficult challenges,' said Putin. 'So far we have only taken the first few steps to meet these challenges. These include agreements on visa-free transit, borders and readmission. We still have to do a lot more with the help of our European partners.'

Putin named the region's infrastructural problems, including transport, energy and communications, as the first tasks that need to be tackled. 'It is also necessary to tighten security on Russia's southern borders, where drug trafficking takes place, and not on its northern border, where there is no drug trafficking and it is hard to imagine a flow of illegal immigrants into St. Petersburg,' the president said.

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