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On Board The Moscow-Kaliningrad Train

On Board The Moscow-Kaliningrad Train

Kaliningrad has long been a politically sensitive region. The Russian territory used to be German East Prussia but was annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II.

When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, Kaliningrad became separated from the rest of Russia. Since 2004, it has existed as a Russian enclave completed surrounded by the EU.

It was difficult for the Kremlin and for many ordinary Russians to accept the fact that they needed transit visas to get to Kaliningrad. Some considered it another act of national humiliation. In July 2003, Russian, Lithuania and the EU signed an agreement on Russian transit through Lithuania. The agreement has remained in force until now and despite initial gloomy predictions -- it seems to be working.

RFE/RL correspondent Valentinas Mite hopped aboard the Moscow to Kaliningrad train in Vilnius, for the last leg of the trip to the Russian exclave. Here is his photo essay.