The Spanish Presidency of the Council intends to work towards the future abolition of the visa regime for EU and Russian citizens. This may be a long process, and one that will depend a great deal on Russia’s ability to implement successfully the action plan drawn up with this objective in mind.
Were the EU to open up to Russia’s province of Kaliningrad, or vice versa, this would demonstrate that the EU and Russia are moving towards ‘demolishing visa walls’. Both Russia and the EU have an interest in the principle of cooperation on both sides of the border and in an anti isolationist policy regarding the Kaliningrad region. To that end, neighbouring Poland and Lithuania have reached agreement on making it easier for people living in border areas to cross the border, but this has yet to be implemented.
How does Council assess the specific situation of the province of Kaliningrad in terms of the dialogue between the EU and Russia on visa matters? How could this dialogue be used in order to sign local traffic agreements between EU Member States (Lithuania and Poland) and the Russian Federation in order to make border crossing procedures easier for people living in border areas?