Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kaliningraders appealing to the EU.
The Kaliningrad region has no land borders with Russia. It is directly bordering with Lithuania and Poland. Previously, Kaliningraders issued visas in a simplified mode for visiting neighboring countries, but after the joining of these countries to the Schengen agreement earlier preferences for Kaliningraders ceased to act.
Regional authorities repeatedly drawn the attention of federal authorities and representatives of the EU that it creates many problems - both for business - tourism, transport, and for the movement of an ordinary citizens. For residents of the Kaliningrad region it is possible to introduce a visa-free regime with neighbouring countries. It is possible and it is necessary to do.
European institutions should pay special attention to our region. European authorities should recognize a special position and status of the Kaliningrad region, specific local problems faced by residents and authorities.
The European Union should be interested that the visa regime for Kaliningraders become liberal, ideally – visa-free.
Human communication between citizens of the EU and Kaliningraders should become the main foundation for the stability of bilateral relations.
Statements by European diplomats and politicians, voiced in recent years demonstrate, that the European Union understand and largely shared that view. However, progress in this matter does not exists, despite all the smiles and the ministerial statements.
After all, even if it is impossible to solve at once in full, there are exist quite realizable numerous intermediate variants which are really facilitating Kaliningraders the entrance to EU and not creating any threats and damage to EU safety. It is an ordinary citizens, not the official persons or representatives of big business, the EU might take the responsibility for braking vicious circle of "symmetry" decisions with the Russian government. It will be a farsighted step.
We especially underline that freedom of movement for Kaliningraders in the Wider Europe is not just question on simplification business, educational or tourist trips (although it is very important). It is a question of normal life in European civilization, based on common values and principles.
The problem became especially sharp after the visa barrier separated us from the nearest European neighbours, the close interaction that has always been and continues to play a crucial role in all that concerns the European trends in Kaliningrad.
We, Kaliningraders, supporters of the European way of life and European principles, consider as logical and necessary result of development of relations between Kaliningrad and EU is the abolition of visas.
We appeal to the EU Council, European Commission and European Parliament, with a desperate request not to waste time and to do everything possible to minimize process of bureaucracy, on visas simplification.
We are confident that in XXI century all of us should pay exclusive attention on elimination of remnants of "Iron Curtain" , we see this as our common strategic objective.
Signing that petition by Kaliningraders you could see here.
Previous correspondence with;
Posted by Rustam Vasiliev