§ Mr. Lazarowicz
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on co-operation between Kaliningrad and the European Union. 1176W
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
The Government recognise that Kaliningrad is a significant issue in the EU-Russia relationship.
The EU recognises also the impact that enlargement will have on Kaliningrad. Due to concerns over illegal migration, the EU has made clear that visa-free transit will no longer be possible between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia after Poland and Lithuania have joined the European Union.
The Union has therefore developed a package of assistance: to facilitate the issuing of visas; to promote workable border arrangements; and to support Kaliningrad's economic development. This assistance is intended to help Kaliningrad benefit from the opportunities offered by EU enlargement. Implementation of this package will depend on overall agreement between the EU and Russia. The issue was discussed at the EU-Russia summit on 29 May. Expert level contacts between the two sides will continue.