Dmitry Rogozin: Why Can Guatemalans Enter EU without Visas While Russians Can't?

Russia is again asking the question of visa-free transit for Russian citizens from Kaliningrad to the territory of the Russian Federation. This was announced on Saturday evening live on the Moscow Echo radio station by the special representative of the Russian president for the problem of the Kaliningrad Region, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs Dmitri Rogozin. He agrees that EU countries should know who is traveling through their territory. 'Russia also wants to know who is leaving Russian borders for transit purposes. But the need for both sides to be informed does not necessitate visas,' he said.

He underlined that the EU has agreements with countries in which 'problems of crime, drugs trafficking and diseases are far more threatening than in the Kaliningrad Region or in Russia as a whole', and yet citizens of these countries can freely travel through EU territory. In particular, he said, 'I fail to understand why Guatemalans have the right to travel through the EU without visas, whereas Russians don't'. He said that Russia will continue their efforts to reach a visa-free agreement, because a visa is always a restriction. And in the case of Kaliningrad, it will be a mass infringement of human rights.

The president's special representative is convinced that Russia and the EU should be broadening their cooperation, because only together can they resist terrorism and other threats.