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Russia: Premier Rejects EU's Proposals On Kaliningrad

Salla, Finnish-Russian border, 27 September 2002 (RFE/RL) Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov today rejected the European Union's proposal for resolving the visa regime problem in Kaliningrad. The EU proposed a "pass system" for citizens of the Russian enclave who are cut off from the rest of Russia by countries including Lithuania and Poland. Those two EU candidate countries plan to introduce visas for transiting Russians, a policy that would follow EU immigration regulations.

Kaliningrad residents now can transit through both countries without a visa, but that will end next summer.

Kasyanov said the pass system the EU proposes, a simplified procedure for obtaining a transit visa, is unacceptable to Russia.

Kasyanov was speaking at the official opening of a new border crossing between Russia and Finland.