Chairman of the European Commission Romano Prodi has addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin a message expounding the EU's initiatives on the Kaliningrad issue.
According to Prodi, the European Union's proposals are aimed at facilitating the movement of this Russian enclave's residents after the EU enlargement and protecting European Union interests at the same time. They deal, in particular, with issuing multi-entry transit documents of a simplified type to the Kaliningrad Region residents. These documents will be issued either free of charge or for a petty fee by consulates of the European Union member states. Visa-free communication could be established later, with the introduction of a high-speed non-stop railway trip, but this will take place after the European Union's enlargement and the solution of technical problems related to it.
Prodi emphasised that these proposals cannot be regarded as final and that they were yet to be discussed within the European Union, with the applicant countries, and Russia. Prodi said he expected this issue would be settled by the Russia-EU summit in November.
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