The number of staff members of Lithuanian Consulate General in Kaliningrad will double by January 2003. This is according to Vitautas Zhalis, Consul General. He explained the increase by a much greater work volume after the introduction of transit visas for the residents of the Kaliningrad Region, beginning July 1, 2003.
Seven additional assistant consuls' windows will be open at the Consulate General. New equipment allowing processing each set of documents in about 30 seconds will also be installed. This should increase the number of issued visas 6 times. Mr. Zhalis emphasised that the visas will be multiple-entrance, last for 5 years, and cheap.
In the meantime, Consul General said that the ways of further increasing the number and volume of consular services available to the residents of the Kaliningrad Region are at this time limited. 'The reason for that', he said, 'is that Russia's Foreign Ministry is delaying issuing permits necessary for extending the consulate building'. 'However', he added, 'Lithuania will do everything possible so that issuing transit visas to the residents of the Kaliningrad Region may become a quick technical procedure'.