The future of Kaliningrad: a pilot region or exclave?
aim of the project is to examine the role of cross-border cooperation
in solving the Kaliningrad problem and integrating this Russian
enclave on the Baltics into a single European economic and legal
space; study the research issue in the context of the EUs
Northern Dimension Initiative; a write a monograph and policy paper
for the European Commission, European Parliament, Nordic Council
and Council of the Baltic Sea States.
is a small Russian enclave on the Baltics. It is a unique region
due to its both history and geopolitical location. Kaliningrad was
Russias military outpost on the Baltics in the Cold War period.
However, with the breakdown of the USSR the region had to deal with
numerous problems ranging from provision of basic supplies and transit
to visa and customs regimes. NATO and EU enlargements created a
new set of problems that are far from being solved.
problems that Kaliningrad had to face in the post-Soviet period
can be grouped into the following categories:
Economic challenges. Similar to other Russian regions, Kaliningrad
has suffered from a severe economic decline since the introduction
of the market reforms. Since 1990 industrial production has fallen
by more than half. The Kaliningrad Region was especially strongly
affected by the Russian financial meltdown of August 1998 because
of its dependence on foreign trade.
and transit. Given its small size and enclave location, Kaliningrad
is dependent on imports, the value of which is three times that
of its exports, with heavy reliance on trade and economic interaction
with mainland Russia. Every year more than 6 million tons of goods
transit, mainly by rail, through Lithuania to and from Russia.
55% of this traffic is oil, coke and coal. Kaliningrad also imports
many goods from its immediate neighbors, Poland and Lithuania.
Although Kaliningrad has relatively more trade links with its
non-Russian neighbors than other Russian border regions, it is
still relatively poorly integrated into the regional economy.
supplies. The Kaliningrad Region is almost totally dependent on
imported energy from the Russian mainland and produces only 20%
of its own needs. The delivery of fuel oil and coal is costly
and complicated, because of the need to negotiate the transit
regime with neighboring countries. Gas is supplied from mainland
Russia through a pipeline which goes via Belarus and Lithuania.
The Kaliningrad authorities want to increase the share of gas
for electricity production.
Kaliningrad State University and five other higher education institutions
do not meet modern educational standards (especially in the sectors
such as microelectronics, biotechnology, new manufacturing processes
and business administration).
health care services in Kaliningrad are close to the Russian average.
Diseases such as, tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles and epidemic
paratyphoid are widespread. Kaliningrad is among the worst regions
in Russia for registered cases of HIV, and is by far the most
affected area in the Baltic Sea region.
Kaliningrad is the second worst source of pollution in the Baltic
Sea region after St. Petersburg, generating more than 400,000
tons annually of domestic and industrial waste. Sanitary conditions
in urban areas are deteriorating, and the sewage system dates
back to pre-WWII.
As in many other parts of Russia, crime is widespread in Kaliningrad,
thriving on weak institutions. Organized crime, trafficking in
human beings, drugs and stolen vehicles and illegal migration
are all present. Smuggling - notably of amber, alcohol and cigarettes
and prostitution are also prevalent. According to official
statistics, the level of crime is 20% higher than the Russian
average. Criminality, linked to corruption, poses a threat to
economic development and the development of a democratic system
governed by the rule of law.
on the mobility of persons. During the Soviet period people from
Kaliningrad traveled freely within the USSR. Since the break-up
of the USSR, they have to travel some 500 kilometers through Lithuania
and either Latvia or Belarus in order to get to the rest of Russia.
The introduction of the Schengen acquis by new EU member states
will have an impact on third countries in terms of visa requirements
and border controls. This will have implications for transit and
travel of persons. Travel, for whatever purpose, to or through
EU member states will require possession of a visa. Visa-free
transit (currently available to Kaliningrad and certain categories
of Russian citizens transiting Lithuania) will no longer be possible.
In addition, Kaliningrad citizens will be obliged to travel in
possession of a valid passport (as opposed to the internal identity
documents which are currently accepted).
developments have attracted a great deal of attention from the world
research community. One group of work examined socio-economic development
of the region in the post-Communist period. Other scholars
studied military-strategic aspects of the problem. The third
category of works analyzed the implications of NATO and EU enlargements
for Kaliningrad. Finally, some experts discussed the future
of the region and suggested concrete recommendations and options.
These works, however, lacked a comprehensive and systematic approach
to the problem paying attention only to its specific and
sometimes isolated aspects. It is an ambition of this project
to offer both a multidimensional and forward-looking view of the
issue that aims not only at theoretical but also practical angle.
study seeks to broaden under-standing of Kaliningrads place
in the EU-Russia relationship by con-sidering the following fundamental
sort of Russias federal policies towards Kaliningrad should
can the EU and other regional and subregional institutions contribute
to the international cooperation around Kaliningrad?
can the problems stemming from EU enlargement be solved?
is the future of the region? Would it remain an isolated island
surrounded by the EU waters or could it become a gate-way
or pilot region that may offer a model which could
be attractive to other Russian border areas?
are also a number of more theoretical questions:
the national sovereignty over the territories still important
in the post-modern age?
the national borders matter in the present-day world? Do they
divide or unite peoples of Europe?
can the Kaliningrad issue help to shift the focus of European
politics from the hard to soft security
it possible to make a subregional/regional security system more
stable through intensive cross- and transborder cooperation?
Kaliningrad a place for inter-civilizational contact and cooperation
or a border between Cosmos (the West) and Chaos (the East)
or manifestation of a Huntingtonian-type clash of civilizations?
data for the project will be drawn from the following sources:
search on Internet (For the most important web-sites see Bibliography)
with officials, politicians, NGO leaders and experts
publications and materials
information, yearbooks, handbooks and reference books
literature: monographs, analytical papers, and articles
the project does not just entail data collection but also data assessment
three main principles will be implemented with regard to selecting
and interpreting sources:
Data should represent most important and typical trends rather
than occasional or irregular developments.
Sources that provide valuable and timely information are given
Sources that offer original data, fresh ideas and non-traditional
approaches are preferable.
the project aims at producing policy recommendations, evaluation
of Kaliningrads current status and its potential is
important. For this reason, a SWOT analysis could be helpful to
assess strong/weak points and opportunities/threats with regard
to the future of the Kaliningrad Region. An interactive matrix that
aggregates results of the SWOT analysis will be created.
project can contribute to the debate on the future of Kaliningrad
in many ways:
it provides scholars with theoretical framework and research instruments
to collect and assess data on Kaliningrad as well as to develop
new, non-traditional, approaches to solving regions numerous
the project demonstrates the need of international cooperation
to cope with the new hard and soft security
threats posed by the turbulent processes in a period of rapid
change and transition in the post-Communist countries.
it facilitates mutual understanding between various Western and
Russian schools of political thought that differ by their methods,
principles, cultural and scientific background, intellectual traditions
the project encourages European studies - in terms of both research
and teaching - in Russia and internationally. Also, it is potentially
helpful for the class-room use of advanced teaching and research
technologies, including information technologies.
of audiences will benefit by this study:
copies of finished documents will be submitted to the Russian
and EU executive and legislative bodies dealing with the Kaliningrad
academic community (through my publications and participation
in various fora) and students (through my teaching activities);
(via my publications and attendance of policy fora and public
should be also noted that results of the project could be easily
disseminated through my partner institutions (Center for Strategic
and International Studies, Washington, DC; Copenhagen Peace Research
Institute and Schlesvig-Holstein Institute of Peace) mailing lists
that include hundreds experts (policymakers, academics, members
of NGOs, etc.).
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- site of the news agency
(Copenhagen Peace Research Institute)
- site of the information agency
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Northern Dimension project, including Kaliningrad
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(Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)