Vladimir Putin has held a working meeting with Dmitry Rogozin, chairman of the committee of the State Duma (Lower House of the Russian Parliament) for international affairs, the President's special representative for the Kaliningrad Region (the Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea).
Vladimir Putin said that the mission imposed on the new special representative for the Kaliningrad Region in connection with the EU's enlargement, is important "not only in connection with the extent to which Russia will be able to feel master of the Kaliningrad Region in the full sense of the word after the EU's enlargement." President Putin believes "that the direction and quality of our relations with the European Union will depend upon the extent to which we shall be able to advance in settling that issue." And that, stressed Putin, "is doubtlessly a serious geopolitical aspect." The President's special representative said that the consequences of the EU's enlargement have "already been scrupulously analysed." In Rogozin's opinion this problem "affects the foundations of Russia's national security, and the rights and liberties of the citizens of the Russian Federation." That is precisely why, he said, in the context of the EU's enlargement, the problems of the Kaliningrad Region cannot remain problems concerning the president and the Foreign Ministry alone, but are a matter of "nationwide importance", to the settlement of which both chambers of the Federal Assembly (Russian Parliament) and the public should be drawn.
Dmitry Rogozin stressed again that in the given case "the rights not only of Kaliningrad region residents, but also those of all Russians may be violated." He expressed the opinion that the "future architecture of Europe" will depend upon the settlement of the problem of Kaliningrad. Rogozin sees his task in having the problem resolved in the interests of Russia and also in "making the Europeans understand that this is also in the interests of the European Union."
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