High-ranking Russian and EU officials to discuss Kaliningrad problem in Moscow

High-ranking Russian and EU (European Union) officials are to discuss prospects for Russian-European cooperation and the problem of the Kaliningrad region, the Russian enclave on the Baltic coast, here today. Sources at the European Commission's Moscow mission say that Russian and EU representatives will negotiate in an informal setting at the Danish Embassy. (Denmark presides in the EU over the July-December 2002 period -- Ed.) Talking to RIA Novosti, the Danish Ambassador in Moscow noted that he intended to acquaint the Russian side with the program of Denmark's EU presidency, also discussing various aspects of Russia-EU interaction over the next six months and issues linked with the Kaliningrad region.

The high-placed Danish diplomat voiced hope to the effect that this meeting would make it possible to chart initial real-life guidelines for solving the Kaliningrad problem in the context of the forthcoming Russian-European consultations on this issue, due to take place in Brussels next week.

Such technical consultations are called on to launch a practical search for solutions dealing with transit traffic between the Kaliningrad region and mainland Russia.

The Russian side insists on visa-free transits. For its own part, the EU keeps saying that it's ready to make various concessions; however, it's in no mood to abolish European visas for Russian citizens travelling to the Kaliningrad region and back.

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