Vinokurov, Evgeny. (2006) Kaliningrad transit and visa issues revisited. CEPS Commentaries, July 2006. [Policy Paper]
[From the introduction]. The first crisis in EU-Russia relations over the ‘Kaliningrad transit’ issue took place in 2002-03, when Lithuania introduced a visa regime. That move provoked strong concerns in Russia that its Kaliningrad Region would be politically and economically detached from the mainland. Russia and Lithuania managed to reach a half-hearted compromise, which was implemented in July 2003. The compromise was at best temporary, however, since it was already known that Lithuania aspired to join the Schengen zone a few years later. Now that Lithuania will most probably join the Schengen zone by late 2007, that time has now about come. The consultations on the Kaliningrad transit issue are ongoing, although a final decision is not yet in sight. The prospects of achieving a comprehensive breakthrough are dim, due to the shallow nature of EU-Russia relations. To avoid a new crisis, another compromise is needed.
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