Support The Moscow Times!

EU Is Expected to Ease Visas

BRUSSELS — The European Union is expected to agree this week to visa-free travel between Kaliningrad and its EU neighbors, and on steps toward offering this to the rest of Russia, diplomats said.  

The visa deals are being prepared in time for Thursday’s EU-Russia summit in Brussels, said Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the EU. EU officials, too, said they expected the agreements.

“That green light seems to be forthcoming at a very late hour before the summit,” Chizhov said of the Kaliningrad pact. “Together with Poland, we appealed to the European Commission to extend that zone to be able to cover the whole of the Kaliningrad region, which is about 100 kilometers wide.”

Kaliningrad already has a special arrangement that allows some Kaliningrad residents living within 30 kilometers of the border to travel into these EU countries without visas. Under the new accord, this would apply to all residents.

“It’s expected that the summit will approve and launch the implementation of the common steps,” an EU official said. “It’s basically a roadmap on things that need to happen” for the EU to agree visa-free travel with Russia.  

On Kaliningrad, the European Commission and the European Parliament are in favor of amending an EU law which makes the region and certain Polish districts officially a single “border zone.” That status will ease cross-border travel by people living within the zone. The European Council, which represents member state governments, is expected to approve the plan this week, an EU diplomat said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more