Dmitry Rogozin: Russia makes its utmost for Russia-EU summit scheduled for November 11 in copenhagen to proceed without obstacles

The Russian side makes it utmost for the Russia-EU summit to be held on November 11th in Copenhagen to proceed without obstacles, the Russian president's representative for the problems of the Kaliningrad region, chairman of the State Duma committee for international affairs Dmitry Rogozin told journalists on Monday evening in Brussels after his meeting with the European commissioners Chris Patten in charge of external relations and Gunter Ferhoigen responsible for the issues of the European Union's enlargement.

Rogozin handed over to the high representatives of the European commission new Russian proposals on the development of contacts between Russia and the European Union, including on the solution to the problem pertaining to the unhindered communication between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia.

Rogozin pointed out that these proposals "are of a constructive character and directed at searching for a possible compromise." They constitute a basis for the main position of Russia at the negotiations on Kaliningrad to be completed before the Copenhagen summit.

The problem of the Kaliningrad region in relations with the European Union, according to Rogozin, is of "a fundamental character for Russia, it is not a question of whim or prestige, it is rather the question of Russian national security, its sovereignty and human rights." "We welcome the EU expansion and hope that it will not damage Russia's interests," he said.

Dmitry Rogozin pointed out that Russia does not await anything from anybody, it offers its own solutions, takes initiative into its hands, makes proposals which, according to the Russian side, should be the basis for the joint solution to the problem.

Rogozin believes that "strategic partnership presupposes a dialogue," and the Russian side "expects the answer to be given in the time limits which will not damage the further development of events, in particular the preparation of the Russia-EU summit." Dmitry Rogozin recalled that visas for Russian citizens crossing the border with Lithuania would be introduced on January 1st, 2003. This places strict time frames for the solution of the Kaliningrad problem. "If we do not come to agreement during this time," the Russian representative said, "we will lose the right to be called politicians." At the same time he stressed that "agreements should not be reached at any cost." There is a limit for the compromise. It comes when the Russian citizens lose their right to move from Russia to Russia, Rogozin noted.

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