Europe can build its future only together with Russia, said French National Assembly Deputy Loic Mari Andre Buvar in a meeting of a French delegation with Kaliningrad Region Vice Governor Mikhail Tsikel on October 16.
The French guests to Kaliningrad represented the Robert Schuman Foundation, which was one of the initiators of the creation of the European Union. The organization's mission is to improve the lives of Europeans and their neighbors. Therefore, the foundation is particularly interested in the situation surrounding Kaliningrad Region with the entries of Poland and Lithuania into the EU. 'If not only France and Germany will consider the interests of Russia during the expansion of the EU, then Kaliningrad Region should have a great future,' said Buvar. Nevertheless, he said that the decision-making mechanism in the EU is really complicated because it requires the agreement of all the participants. Therefore, decisions related to Kaliningrad Region are not close at hand. The Robert Schuman Foundation, according to deputies, is prepared to help speed up the process.
Tsikel said that 'the future is being created already today' and not only on the diplomatic level. If we are talking about economic integration, then France today is not the most active partner of Kaliningrad Region. Of the region's total trade of USD 2.2 billion for 2002, only USD 34 million was connected with French investments. Moreover, of the approximately two thousand registered company's in the region, which have foreign capital, only two include French investments. Tsikel called for expanding economic ties between France and Kaliningrad Region.
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