Moscow does not believe that the decisions of the European Union summit in Seville concerning the problem of Kaliningrad (Russia's enclave on the Baltic Sea) "closes the door" to finding mutually acceptable agreements on this issue, said official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko.
He expressed the hope that such agreements would be achieved and "the legal interests and rights of the Russian citizens to a free movement to the main part of Russia and back will be taken into consideration." According to Alexander Yakovenko, this is "the position of principle which is being consistently upheld by the leadership of the country with regard to the Kaliningrad region's infrastructure in the context of the upcoming extension of the European Union." He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had clearly outlined this position at the Russia-European Union summit in Moscow on May 29, during his meetings with the leaders of the West European member-countries of the European Union in Saint Petersburg on June 10 and at the news conference on June 24.
The official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry does not think that at their meeting in Seville on June 21-22 the European leaders "categorically" came out for a visa regime for the citizens of the Kaliningrad region. The essence of the taken decision, according to Yakovenko, is that the EU commission was charged with drafting an additional report on the possibility of finding "an effective and flexible solution of the problem concerning the transit of people and goods to the Kaliningrad region and back in accordance with the norms and rules of the European Union and by agreement with the appropriate candidate-countries." It is planned to consider this reports at the European Union's informal summit in Brussels on October 24-25, this year.
"The fact that the final consideration of the problem has been adjourned till the next summit of the European Union in Brussels in October testifies to the European Union's intention to approach more attentively Russia's concern," believes the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.