Panel addresses Kaliningrad relative to EU expansion

  • 2000-04-06
KALININGRAD (BNS) – The Russian Kaliningrad region can develop in three different ways, a group of American, Swedish and Finnish scientists have said after a thorough analysis of the effect of the European Union's enlargement on the Russian enclave.

The report, Kaliningrad Puzzle, was presented in Brussels in the middle of last week.

The head of the International Relations Division of the Kaliningrad mayor's office, Silvia Gurova, told a news conference on April 3 the academic work includes major problems existing both inside the region and in the enclave's relations with European states.

Sweden's Baltic Institute drafted the report which suggests three versions of Kaliningrad's development: indifference, isolation and integration.

The first version sees the EU's "indifferent" stance towards the problems of the Russian enclave. The scheme is possible if the regional and federal authorities take a passive position towards the course of events.

According to the second scheme, "isolation," the Russian enclave could become isolated after the EU decides that Kaliningrad is "Russia's neglected ordinary region, which only exports social problems."

The third version, "integration," suggests that the Russian enclave should be included into large-scale investment projects.

"It is possible that the Russian Kaliningrad region could one day find itself outside the borders of Shengen states," Gurova said, "This could bring an end to years of international relations and cause serious problems traveling into the main part of Russia."

A round-table panel met in Brussels on March 29 to discuss key problems which could arise for the western region of Russia in the EU expansion process.