Yevgeny Nazdratenko, the chairman of the State Fishing Committee, is categorically opposed to the unification of Kaliningrad's trade and fishing ports. According to Rosbalt's correspondent, Nazdratenko made this announcement yesterday at a press conference in Kaliningrad, where he was making a one-day working visit.
In Nazdratenko's words, such decisions cannot be taken on the principle of 'let's have a go and see what comes of it'. He was referring to last year's cabinet meeting in Kaliningrad which discussed the idea of merging the two ports. 'In many countries sea and fishing ports coexist successfully, carrying out their specific tasks,' he explained. 'Kaliningrad has a sizable fishing fleet that needs its own port'.
At the same time, Nazdratenko believes that 'it is necessary to promptly and seriously establish why this fleet's vessels, and those of other countries, prefer to go to other ports'. The chairman of the State Fishing Committee believes that this is happening because 'here they are faced by 25 different points of control, each of which is determined to make a bit of money at the fishermen's expense'. 'It's not just that it is financially burdensome, but also that the process of preparing a ship's documents takes at least twenty-four hours, whereas in Norwegian ports it takes no more than twenty minutes,' he added. Nazdratenko also announced that an interdepartmental commission set up by the prime minister is currently looking at the practicability of the existence of these points of control. 'Personally I would just leave the border guards and customs personnel there,' he said.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969