Lithuania is not interested in seeing the Kaliningrad Region's economy stagnate, according to Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Evaldas Ignatavicius. The Deputy Foreign Minister was speaking in Kaliningrad yesterday at the international conference 'Europe and Russia: Borders That Unite.'
'Quite the opposite,' said the Deputy Foreign Minister, 'we believe that good relations with our neighbours should grow into mutually beneficial cross-border cooperation, and Lithuania's entry into the EU is not obstacle to this. The current transit procedures agreed by the EU may not be ideal, but they do not prevent the development of economic ties with the Kaliningrad Region. Since border controls were introduced for travel across Lithuania only 0.35% of passengers travelling from Kaliningrad to the rest of Russia and back again have been refused entry.'
According to Evaldas Ignatavicius, a much more serious problem are the queues on the Russian-Lithuanian border. He said that this issue can only be resolved by jointly modernising border crossing points. Illegal migration, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking also need to be tackled with combined efforts. 'Lithuania has a good understanding and shares common goals with both Russia and the EU, which are our key partners,' said Evaldas Ignatavichius. 'This is a good foundation for achieving mutually acceptable solutions to the Kaliningrad question.