Answer of Boguslaw M. Majewski, Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland
Regarding the introduction of visas for Kaliningrad region residents for transit through new EU member states there is no direct association with Poland. Nevertheless, many Kaliningrad residents are economically dependent on the possibility to cross freely the Russian – Polish border. Which regime will be introduced on Russian – Polish border in year 2003?
The proposal of the European Commission on the “Facilitated Transit Document” does not concern Poland as it is not a transit country for traffic between Kaliningrad region and the mainland part of Russia. This fact is fully acknowledged by the authorities of the Russian Federation as reflected in the Memorandum of Intent which does not contain any requirements regarding transit through the Polish territory. Poland expects that should the introduction of the “Facilitated Transit Document” be agreed upon by the Member States and the candidate countries concerned, relevant provisions will be made to reflect the above situation. Furthermore, Poland draws attention to the fact that the practical and legal complexity of the “Facilitated Transit Document” as currently proposed would exceed by a significant margin the objective of easing transit between Kaliningrad and mainland Russia.
Poland and Russia have agreed that after 1 July 2003, Russian citizens will enter Poland only if they are in possession of an international passport and a visa. Poland is ready to co-operate on all practical possibilities within the acquis on the basis of flexibility and reciprocity regarding issuing visas for the Russian citizens willing to enter the territory of Poland.
Poland welcomes the Russian proposal to establish the visa-free travel regime in the future. Fulfilling of the conditions mentioned in the EC Communication must be, anyway, prior to the abolishment of visa obligation.