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Russia, Poland urge EU to abolish visas for Kaliningrad residents

© RIA Novosti . Igor Zarembo / Go to the photo bankRussia, Poland urge EU to cancel visas for Kaliningrad residents
Russia, Poland urge EU to cancel visas for Kaliningrad residents - Sputnik International
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A Russian-Polish agreement introducing visa-free travel for residents of Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad is ready, but the EU is not eager to approve it, Poland's foreign minister said on Thursday.

A Russian-Polish agreement introducing visa-free travel for residents of Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad is ready, but the EU is not eager to approve it, Poland's foreign minister said on Thursday.

"We have persuaded EU foreign ministries that we are right, but we have still to persuade interior ministries, which is much more complicated. But both Russia and Poland will try their best to change this [EU] rule," Radoslaw Sikorski said at a joint news conference in Warsaw with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

The European Parliament's resolution 1931/2006 allows states party to the Schengen agreement to establish a simplified visa regime for people living in a 30-kilometer zone on both sides of an external border.

In April, Poland and Russia filed a request to the European Commission seeking to extend the resolution to all Kaliningrad Region residents.

Lavrov said it was "obvious to everyone" that the European Union should make an "exception" by approving the Russian-Polish proposal, which he said was in the interest of both Russian and Polish citizens.

"I hope that common sense will prevail," the Russian foreign minister said.

Russia is also in talks with Lithuania on the easing of EU visa requirements for Kaliningrad region residents.

To travel by land from Kaliningrad to the rest of Russia a person must pass through either Lithuania or Poland.

WARSAW, October 28 (RIA Novosti)

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