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    Putin arrives in Kaliningrad

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    KALININGRAD, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Kaliningrad (Russia's exclave on the Baltic Sea) for a two-day working visit. The president is accompanied by his wife Ludmila Putin who is a native Kaliningrad resident.The president will begin his visit with laying flowers to the monument of 1,200 Soviet soldiers who died in the battle for Koenigsberg (as Kaliningrad was called when it was part of Eastern Prussia) at the concluding stage of WWII. Then Putin will participate in the celebrations of the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad and visit the museum of the Royal Gates.

    In the afternoon, Russia's State Council will gather for a session chaired by Putin. In the evening, Putin is expected to attend a concert of the Mariinsky Theater symphony orchestra of St. Petersburg in Kaliningrad's Cathedral Church.

    On Sunday, June 3, the president will meet the French and German leaders in Svetlogorsk, outside Kaliningrad, and then answer journalists' questions.

    Putin and Gerhard Schroeder, the German Chancellor, will also visit the Cathedral Church and lay flowers on the grave of famous German philosopher, Immanuel Kant who lived in Koenigsberg.

    Putin will also attend the ceremony of opening a memorial plaque on the occasion of naming the Russian State University after Kant, and meet Russian businessmen.

    The Potsdam conference of 1945 decided to annex a third of the former Eastern Prussia, including Koenigsberg, to the USSR.

    In 1946, the region was renamed into Kaliningrad after a Soviet party leader Mikhail Kalinin.

    Koenigsberg was first mentioned in historical documents on June 29, 1256.

    Since then, it has seen many historic events, and was the city where Russian and German paths met more than once.

    Russian Tsar Peter the Great visited the city in 1697. During the Seven Year War, the city was annexed to Russia for a short while in the middle of the 18th century. Its generals and soldiers took part in defeating Napoleon in the early 19th century.

    Today Kaliningrad is a unique economic exclave of Russia, separated from the rest of the country by Lithuania and Belarus.

    The city's economy is based on oil extraction, engineering, lumber industry, pulp and paper, fishing, and light industries.

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