Russia said to Poland on the tightening of the border regime: visa-free border travel halted. Of the measures imposed, apparently, affected not only hundreds of thousands of residents of border areas, but many smugglers. Warsaw argues that its actions are dictated by concern about security. Whether so it actually?
Monday Poland suspended the regime of local border traffic (MPP) with Russia and Ukraine. In Warsaw explained that want to protect themselves in connection with carrying out in the Polish capital on 8-9 July NATO summit and World youth day in Krakow, which will be held from 26 to 31 July.
“The Russians certainly had a lot, and we treated it as something natural”
“The Russian side was informed of this unilateral decision without prior consultation”, – stated in the message of the Russian foreign Ministry, published on the official website of the foreign Ministry. – Also, do not understand the relationship of security held in Warsaw and Krakow activities with the implementation of the agreement, the scope of which is applicable only in the border regions of Pomorskie and warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodships. Certification Warsaw of the temporary nature of the restrictions and take note, but let’s see how this will be respected in practice”.
The foreign Ministry recalled that “on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, the Russian side accepted the return of the “mirrored” measures against the Polish nationals intending to visit Kaliningrad oblast”. They will act to restore Warsaw, the old order of movement in accordance with the said agreement.
“In the morning there was only one car to travel”
Warsaw and Moscow have signed an agreement to WFP in 2012. The agreement has simplified the procedure of crossing the Polish-Russian border. Residents of the Kaliningrad region and the border territories of Poland crossed the border with a passport card – a permit to reside in Poland. Issued with a permit to stay up to 30 days per trip and 90 days per six months.
According to the government of the Kaliningrad region, in the hands of the inhabitants of the region is now 150 thousand of such cards. From the Russian side the scope of the agreement gets the whole Kaliningrad oblast, the part of Poland – Warmia-Masuria and Pomerania (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia, Olsztyn and other smaller centres).
In a press-service of the Kaliningrad regional border guard of FSB of the Russian Federation reported on Monday that after the suspension of WFP mode “the situation is very quiet on a no exit”. “In the morning there was only one car on the road (from the region) at the checkpoint Bagrationovsk – Bezdelov,” – said the press service, adding that Russians from the territory of Poland passed back into the country “as the MPP cards and visas, for people to be able to return,” and “citizens of the Republic of Poland, the noise-only visas.”
“Tangible loss in the budgets of tens of thousands of poles”
In turn, the head of the Polish cultural center in Kaliningrad Tomas Omansky told about the negative consequences of the decision of Warsaw. According to him, cancelling trips, vacations, loss of armor and the profits of the tourism industry.
“This is a significant loss in the family budgets of tens of thousands of poles who live in the frontier area and engaged in trade with the Kaliningrad fuel,” – said in an interview Omanski Kaliningrad “news”.
Explain that Polish citizens coming to the Kaliningrad region for gasoline and diesel fuel, which in the most Western Russian region of half the price. Liter of AI-95 in Kaliningrad today – of 37.90 rubles (0,53 Euro) per liter, in Poland, the average is 1 Euro.
Often the border “tourists” buy cheap Russian fuel not only for their own use. Even before the current significant depreciation of the smugglers have established a profitable but illegal business. For example, in March 2014, the Prosecutor of the Polish city of Elblag (about 50 km to the Russian border) “covered” gas station that he sold the fuel from the Kaliningrad region. As reported by the portal “Калининград.Ru” the so-called tankers – private cars – while smuggling fuel across the border, where they sold in the nearest Polish town Branovo. Only in this particular case, the Polish state lost more than 300 thousand zloties (approximately 70 euros) tax fees.
But, of course, from the obstacles at the border are suffering and law-abiding poles.
“We do not deny that the contacts were very lively and the movement for WFP means a lot to our city, – said in comments to the portal “news from Poland” Monika Reif, the Deputy mayor of Bartoszyce town (about 18 km from the border). Our residents and local businesses, of course, will feel it. Russian we had a lot really, and we treated it as something natural. This is used pharmacy, trade, public catering. For us it was a pretty considerable parish, especially when you consider the scale of unemployment in Bartoszyce. So we are very hopeful that before the end of the month the movement will be restored.”
The majority of Kaliningraders do not worry
Minister – head of Agency on international and interregional relations of the Kaliningrad region Alla Ivanova suggested in conversation with the newspaper “Kommersant” that the agreement will be launched again in August, after the World youth day in Krakow.
“Formally, they are notified, as expected, not later than 48 hours before the changes come into force. The agreement worked well, apparently, our Polish colleagues have deferred this decision to the last, but at the last moment, something changed,” said the official.
The website “New Kaliningrad” conducted a survey among its visitors. About 39% of respondents said they don’t care about what happened, since I have a Schengen visa. 30% disagreed with the abolition of the WFP, and 26% “‘ll be fine living without Poland”.
The frontier people are not dangerous
Member of the Public chamber, the President of Fund of research of problems of democracy Maxim Grigoriev called the actions of Poland continued of anti-Russian policy. “It is the policy of forcing anti-Russian hysteria in the media. It is obvious that the people of Russia, especially in border areas, the person has been tested and found not to pose any danger for Poland regardless of the activities conducted there”, – said Grigoriev the newspaper LOOK.Related posts: