On January 21, a round table “Russia and
Europe: a View from Kaliningrad” took place in Kaliningrad
on the initiative of the Kaliningrad branch of YABLOKO.
“Relations between Russia and the European Union, first of
all the problem of abolishing the visa regime, is not an abstract,
but a vitally important problem for the residents of the Kaliningrad
region,” said Vladimir Vukolov, deputy chair of the regional
parliament of the Kaliningrad region and representative of
the Elder Generation public organisation.
Galina Mikhalyova, Moderator of the round table and Executive
Secretary of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, stressed that
“the present multiple agreements between the EU and the RF
remain statements on intent only, and virtual progress has
The key report by Grigory Yavlinsky, member of YABLOKO’s
Political Committee, was devoted to the prospects of Russia’s
development in the context of its relations with Europe. “Russia
has no alternative for the European way of development, if
it intends to remain among the developed countries,” he said.
Alexander Tamm, head of the Moscow office of the Friedrich
Naumann Foundation, and Vladimir Shveitzer, head of the Political
Studies Centre of the Institute of Europe, the Russian Academy
of Sciences, expressed their vision of the problem.
Parliament members of the Kaliningrad Region Duma stressed
that the visa regime negatively affects the quality of life
and economic efficiency of the Russian exclave.
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin told about YABLOKO’s fight
for abolishing visas between Russia and EU which would facilitate
Russia’s return to the European way of development and his
intention to raise this issue at the ELDR summit in Brussels.
The Round Table adopted a resolution stipulating for joining
efforts in abolishing the visa regime and also proposed a
number of programmes for socio-economic development of the
Also a 1.5 hour discussion between Grigory Yavlinsky and
a large group of YABLOKO’s members and advocates and a press-conference
of Yavlinsky, Mitrokhin and Vukolov took place on the same
On January 22 Sergei Mitrokhin met with officers and military
pensioners in the Navy base in Baltyisk.
YABLOKO nominated its candidates to run in the elections
to the regional parliament in March. The regional list is
topped by deputies of the present regional parliament from
the Elder Generation organisation.
Photographs by Boris Register, Kommersant