The messages accentuated the consistent intention of Russia to lead matters strengthening the cooperation with the European Union that is now gradually taking the shape of a strategic partnership. Its chief objective is to make Europe a continent of peace without divisions, which assumes Russia's deep integration into the common European economic, legal and humanitarian space. Today it is becoming clear, the Russian President's messages stressed, that further development of this process requires the mutual freedom of movement for Russia's citizens and those of the member states of the EU.
It is in the broad context of Russia’s European choice and of Europe-wide security and cooperation, the messages noted, that it is necessary to consider the question of ensuring the unimpeded transit of people and goods between the Kaliningrad Region and the rest of Russia. Reaching mutually acceptable agreements on this issue as soon as possible can give a new political impetus to relations between Russia and the European Union and take the relations to a higher level.
In connection with this, Mr Putin suggested that the heads of the EU states consider the new integration initiative of Russia, which envisages placing an ambitious goal on a practical plane: to eventually shift to a visa-free procedure for Russian and EU citizens. Expressing the readiness for constructive cooperation in reaching this goal, Russia expected adequate consideration for its national interests relating to ensuring free communication with one of its constituent entities, which by history’s will may soon find itself within EU territory. This major political issue determined not only the real conditions of the functioning of the Kaliningrad Region as an integral part of the Russian Federation, but also to a significant extent the further direction of our relations with the expanding European Union.
The President expressed hope that by the November Russia-EU summit in Copenhagen it would be possible through joint efforts to reach mutually acceptable agreements on Kaliningrad problems.