President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Let’s discuss the situation in the region you are responsible for in general, taking into account its particular geographical location and the special rules that apply here and that affect all different areas of the region’s life, including its legal status. These are matters we have discussed on numerous occasions with our partners from the European Union. You live here surrounded by European Union countries. This is something that gives you a number of competitive advantages that you need to make use of, and at the same time it also creates some particular difficulties. So, let’s discuss these matters now.
Governor of Kaliningrad Region Nikolai Tsukanov: As far as the problems that are uppermost in our region’s people’s minds go, I want to start by thanking you for addressing the issue that is most relevant of all for Kaliningrad Region’s residents, and indeed for everyone in Russia, namely the issue of visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union.
Some serious steps have been taken and an agreement is to be signed soon on border region cooperation between Russia and Poland. Of course, people in Kaliningrad place great hopes on this decision, so as to be able to have the possibility of travelling without having to obtain visas.
Dmitry Medvedev: We all place great hopes on these steps, and we hope that our partners in the European Union countries will show as much sense of responsibility as we do. This is a realistic objective, but to be honest, the decision now is not in our hands.