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RF-Lithuania commission to discuss bilateral cooperation

October 04, 2011, 12:17 UTC+3
A major aspect of the border cooperation is a project of a small border movement
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VILNIUS, October 4 (Itar-Tass) — The 8th annual meeting of the Russian-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical, humanitarian and cultural cooperation, which will take place on Tuesday in Klaipeda, the two countries will discuss a wide range of bilateral relations and are expected to sign three agreements.

The commission’s co-chairs are Russia’s Minister of Transport Igor Levitin and Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis.

The agenda of the intergovernmental commission includes discussion of a wide range of current issues of bilateral cooperation at the governmental level and at the regional level between Lithuania and neighbouring Kaliningrad Region.

A major aspect of the border cooperation is a project of a small border movement, where residents in Russia’s Kaliningrad Region, who live 50 kilometres from the border, would have long-term passes to visit Lithuania without visas.

“Russia is ready to open for Lithuanian citizens not a narrow part of the bordering territory, but the entire territory of the region and hopes for a parity step from the Lithuanian side,” Levitin said earlier.

Another important moment of the regional cooperation would be opening of a border crossing station in the Rybachi Village at the Curonian Split. This station will launch realistically a mechanism of the agreement on navigation in the Curonian Split and along water routes of the Kaliningrad Region and Lithuania, and it will give a new impetus to development of tourism in the region. Neighbouring Poland is also interested in the project. Co-chair of the intergovernmental commission from the Russian side, Minister of Transport Igor Levitin said that the border crossing station in Rybachi “may be opened in 2012.”

The two sides are expected to sign an agreement which has been discussed already. The agreement will be devoted to construction of a bridge across the Niemen River. The project will develop transport communication and border infrastructures of Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Region. The new bridge will be constructed at the Sovetsk-Panemune area. The two locations are connected now by the Queen Luisa Bridge, which was constructed back in 1907. Its state is very poor. The new transport route across Niemen will be built not far from the Queen Luisa Bridge, which belongs to Russia.

Participants in the intergovernmental commission are expected to sign an agreement on construction of a bridge across the Niemen River, on cooperation in standards, metrology and reference evaluation, as well as a declaration of partnership for modernisation.

Lithuania plans to discuss construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant in the Kaliningrad Region. Vilnius is adamant it does not receive enough information on the project and expresses doubts about sufficient expertise of the plant’s security. Another issue Lithuania would like to discuss is the situation with Lithuanian schools in the Kaliningrad Region.

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