Vladimir Putin has criticized the European Union's stand on the question of the Kaliningrad Region (the Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea).
The president of Russia, speaking at the Russia-EU summit in Moscow on Wednesday, stated that "all the Russian proposals on ensuring transit of people and cargoes between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia have not found understanding in Brussels so far." The head of the Russian state noted that he wants "to more acutely" speak on this theme and stressed that, in essence, all the decisions proposed by the EU mean that "the right of the inhabitants of Russia to associate with their relatives living in different parts of Russia will depend on a decision of one or another foreign state".
According to the Russian president, "now that the funeral of the cold war has already been held, a return to such approaches is incomprehensible, to say the least of it." "The way our relations with the European Union as a whole will shape up depends, without any exaggeration, on the decision of this question which "affects the vital interests of the Russia people," Putin said. In his opinion, this issue is "the absolute criterion of authenticity of our partnership." The head of the Russian state holds the view that "we cannot afford moving forward leaving unsolved problems, the fates of millions of our co-citizens behind our back". As he said, there is no alternative to a decision which will ensure the rights of the citizens of Russia in full.
The president of Russia said that he intends to "set forth in detail" his vision of the problem at today's summit. According to Putin, he reckons on understanding of the European Union's leadership on this question.
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