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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Poland moots flexible Kaliningrad visas

The Polish president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, has suggested a flexible visa system for residents of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad travelling to and from the rest of Russia.

Speaking after meeting President Putin in Moscow late on Thursday, Mr Kwasniewski said Russians could get cheap long-term, multiple-entry visas, allowing them to cross Poland once it becomes a member of the European Union.

He was responding to mounting concern in Russia over the fate of its Kaliningrad citizens, who live in a territory surrounded by Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea.

Both Poland and Lithuania have pledged to adopt the EU's strict visa regime ahead of their expected accession in 2004.

But Mr Kwasniewski joined the Lithuanians in rejecting a Russian demand for special transit corridors.

He said the idea harked back to Hitler's Danzig corridor, which linked Germany with the city now known as Gdansk.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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