The Kalininigrad Region, Russia's Baltic exclave, does not present whatever dangers and problems to any European country, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov reassured a Baltic Council prime-ministerial session.
The exclave will find itself isolated from the Russian mainland after Poland and Lithuania, its neighbours, join the European Union.
European apprehensions of the Schengen procedures simplified for Kalininigraders will enhance crime, drug traffic and illegal migration are groundless. Crime rates in the exclave are not above those in the adjacent areas. Besides, Russia and the Baltic countries have sufficient knowhow of combat on organised crime to prevent its progress, said the Premier.
Much is being done at the federal and provincial levels to ensure normal arrangements in the Kalininigrad Region, and help it to overcome an economic lag behind a greater part of Russia. Its specific geography demands external conditions to promote the progress of the exclave. That is why Russia is working for remedies against tentative problems even before the EU extends membership, explained Mr. Kasyanov.
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