MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. Russia expects Poland to restore the fast-track travel regime for the residents of the border territories, director of the consular department of Russia’s foreign ministry Yevgeny Ivanov said at a meeting of the State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for International Affairs.
"Not so long ago, this year, Poland suspended this agreement (on the local border travel) under the pretext of preparing to a large-scale international event. They said it was a temporary technical step. When we came to realize that it was more of a political step, we too, suspended the agreement. It is not currently in effect," Ivanov said.
"We expect Poland to take some actions," the diplomat stressed adding that this was "another example of Poland’s mindless activities which inflict damage on the Polish citizens as well as border cooperation."
In 2012, Moscow and Warsaw signed an agreement on the principles of border travel between the Russian region of Kaliningrad and the adjoining Polish regions. The agreement simplifies border-crossing procedures. Residents of the Kaliningrad region and the adjoining regions of Poland could cross the border presenting only their passports and permissions to stay in Poland for a period of up to 30 days during one trip, or up to 90 days in a six-month period.
On July 4, 2016, Poland suspended the local travel regime on the borders with Russia’s Kaliningrad region and Ukraine citing the need to ensure security during the Nato summit in Warsaw (July 8-9) and the Catholic World Youth Day in Krakow (July 26-31). In response, Russia also suspended the agreement. The Polish Interior Ministry later said that the border travel regime with Russia would not be restored for security reasons and in order to combat the smuggling of cigarettes and gasoline. Russia’s foreign ministry stated that Moscow saw no reason for such a decision.