Supplementary memorandum from the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office
Letter to the Clerk from the Head of the
Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Department, FCO
At the Committee's pre-Copenhagen Council session
on Tuesday 10 December, the Committee asked Denis MacShane whether
the EU had a written plan covering future engagement with Russia
on Kaliningrad. As noted by the Minister in reply, the EU does
not have a masterplan on Kaliningrad. Engagement with Russia is,
however, on-going and based on the agreement reached at the EU/Russia
Summit on 11 November. A European Commission report of 13 December
gives an overview of the necessary follow-up to the Summit, both
in respect of the transit issue and consideration of further EU
developmental assistance, with a timetable for implementation.
You may find it useful to have a short summary of the background
to the measures outlined in the Commission report.
The Brussels European Council endorsed a final
EU position on the Kaliningrad transit issue ahead of the EU/Russia
Summit. The Presidency and Commission were subsequently successful
in agreeing the following package of measures with Russia. A copy
of the Summit joint statement on Kaliningrad is attached for reference.
Status quo (ie no visas required)
for Russians transiting Lithuania to and from Kaliningrad until
A "Facilitated Transit Document"
(FTD) (in effect a multi-entry visa for Russians) to be introduced
for all forms of land transit (ie including trains) by Russian
citizens with effect from 1 July 2003;
A "Facilitated Rail Transit
Document" (FRTD) specifically for one-off return rail transit;
FTDs (including FRTDs) to be issued
on the basis of Russian internal travel documents for a limited
period (ie still available to Russians without external passports);
A feasibility study on non-stop visa-free
transit by train to begin in 2003 and be completed as soon as
possible. But the final decision to be taken only after enlargement;
A Russia/Lithuania re-admission agreement
to be concluded by 30 June 2003. Agreement from 2002 to launch
negotiations on an EU-Russia re-admission agreement;
Russia to facilitate the opening
of EU member state and candidate country consulates in Kaliningrad.
In addition to the above, the EU agreed at the
21-22 October GAERC to give EU binding guarantees to help Lithuania
meet the additional costs of implementing the above measures.
The EU also confirmed that it would help Lithuania meet the conditions
necessary to be among the first group of EU candidates to join
Schengen. The Kaliningrad transit package would not delay or prevent
Lithuania's Schengen accession. A protocol covering these measures
was agreed as part of the Accession Treaty at the Copenhagen Council
on 12-13 December (see points I 11. (a) and (b) of the Commission
The expert level talks with Lithuania and Russia
referred to under point II 1. (c) have been underway since December
2002. As a result of the complex nature of the discussions, the
submission of a draft regulation on implementation of the FTD
and FRTD has been slightly delayed. However, the Commission hopes
this will be ready to go to the Council by 1 February. The Commission
is currently considering assistance to Russia as set out in point
II 3. (a).
Parliamentary Relations & Devolution Department
Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
17 January 2003
COEST REPORT TO COREPER
The agreement on Kaliningrad which was reached
at the EU/Russia Summit on 11 November 2002 sets out a number
of different areas for action to be pursued by various actors
(Council, Commission, Lithuania, Russia) over the coming months
in order to implement the agreement by 1 July 2003. Some actions
will need to be dealt with before Lithuania's accession to the
The Presidency and the Commission will play
a leading role in this context. On the Council side, the Working
Party on Eastern Europe and Central Asia will maintain its overall
responsibility, although several issues will be handled in other
Council working groups.
This report aims at giving an overview regarding
necessary work, thus facilitating the task of coordination by
Coreper. The report proposes deadlines to measure progress.
1. Facilitated Transit Documents (FTD and
(a) Before GAERC 9-10 December 2002:
(i) Conclusions on political, legal and financial
guarantees for Lithuania (Coreper);
(ii) Preparation of draft Protocol and draft
Declaration to the Accession Treaty setting out legal guarantees
for Lithuania in line with the GAERC conclusions of 30 September
and 22 October (Presidency, Commission and the Working Party on
(b) At European Council in Copenhagen. 12-13
(i) Adoption of a draft Protocol and draft
Declaration to the Accession Treaty setting out legal guarantees
for Lithuania in line with the GAERC conclusions of 30 September
and 22 October.
(c) By end 2002:
(i) Expert level talks with Lithuania on
additional costs of the scheme (Commission);
(ii) Identification of source of finance
(iii) Expert level talks with Lithuania on
the implementation of the FTD and FRTD scheme (Commission);
(iv) Expert level talks with Lithuania and
Russia on screening of applications and delivery of FRTDs (Commission);
(d) January 2003:
(i) Draft regulation to be submitted to the
Council on the implementation of the FTD and FRTD. (Visa Group);
(e) By mid April 2003:
(i) Adoption of the FTD/FRTD legislation
by Council and European Parliament;
(f) May 2003:
(i) Signature of Accession Treaty with Lithuania
including Protocol on Kaliningrad;
(g) By 1 July 2003:
(i) FTD/FRTD scheme in place.
(a) After the European Council in Copenhagen:
(i) Consultations with Lithuania on the Terms
of Reference for feasibility study on trains. (Commission);
(b) In 2003:
(i) Launching of the feasibility study (Commission);
(c) After the accession of Lithuania to
(i) A possible decision on the high speed
non-stop train option (Council).
(a) December 2002 onwards:
(i) Consider possibilities for increased
assistance for the social and economic development of the Kaliningrad
region including the prospects for a Kaliningrad Fund. Consider
assistance for activities related to implementation of the package
(ii) Provide assistance to Lithuania under
Phare (before accession) and Category 3 (after accession) to implement
the FTD/FRTD scheme.
Russia and the EU have agreed to continue discussion
within the PCA framework on the appropriate technical modalities
for the transit of goods.
(a) In 2003:
(i) Start discussions on the technical modalities
for the transit of goods (Working Party on Customs Union);
(ii) Continue discussions with Russia in
the relevant PCA bodies (Commission).
IV. OTHER ELEMENTS
(a) As soon as possible:
(i) Lithuania confirms it agrees to implement
the FTD/FRTD scheme, including accepting Russian internal passports
until 31 December 2004;
(ii) Russia and Lithuania reach agreement
on transitional arrangements for rail passengers between 1 January
and 1 July 2003;
(iii) The ratification of the Russia/Lithuania
border agreement by the Russian Duma;
(iv) Russia's acceptance of requests by EU
Member States and candidate countries for opening consulates in
the Kaliningrad region;
(b) December 2002:
(i) Open negotiations for an EU/Russia readmission
(ii) Russian approval of expansion of the
Lithuanian Consulate General in Kaliningrad and the opening of
a new consulate in Sovetsk;
(c) By 1 July 2003:
(i) Conclusion of a bilateral Russia/Lithuania
(d) Until 31 December 2004:
(i) Lithuania's acceptance of Russian internal
1. The parties acknowledge the unique situation
of the Kaliningrad Region as part of the Russian Federation but
separated from the rest of the Federation by other states. With
the aim of further developing the strategic partnership between
EU and Russia, the parties therefore agree to make a special effort
to accommodate the concerns on both sides related to the future
transit of persons and goods between the Kaliningrad Region and
other parts of Russia, and to intensify their cooperation to promote
the social and economic development of the region as a whole.
2. The Russian Federation and the European
Union note that from 1 January 2003 the Republic of Lithuania
will, according to its agreement with the EU, implement national
regulations for border control. The parties understand that these
rules shall be applied in a flexible manner in order not to disrupt
the traditional flow of transit passengers by rail. The parties
recognise that the transit regime will not infringe upon the sovereign
right of the Republic of Lithuania to exercise the necessary controls
and to refuse entry into its territory.
3. On the economic and social development
of the oblast, the parties agree to implement a comprehensive
package of measures in order to ensure easy passage of borders
for legal purposes with a view to facilitate human contacts and
promote the development of the Kaliningrad Region. In this context,
the EU will continue to support technically and financially Russian
efforts to promote the economic development of the Kaliningrad
Region and to strengthen cross-border co-operation along the borders
of the enlarged EU with Russia, including measures to improve
border management and border infrastructure. The parties note
that development of the Kaliningrad Region is important for the
overall development of the Baltic Sea area.
4. The parties agree that any further talks
on the implementation of this understanding should proceed in
the framework of the EU/Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Arrangements for the transit of persons and goods
5. The European Union will introduce the
necessary legislation to establish by 1 July 2003 a Facilitated
Transit Document (FTD) scheme to apply for the transit of Russian
citizens only between Kaliningrad and other parts of Russia by
land. The FTD will be valid for direct transit by land from one
third country to the same third country within a limited period
of time and will be issued free of charge or at a very low cost.
6. The FTD scheme will allow for two types
of FTD to be issued to Russian citizens. For multiple entry direct
transit via all forms of transport by land to and from Kaliningrad,
an FTD would be obtainable on the basis of an application to a
Lithuanian consulate, and subject to necessary checks and controls.
7. In addition, for those Russian citizens
intending to make single return trips by train through the territory
of the Republic of Lithuania, a Facilitated Rail Travel Document
(FRTD) would be obtainable on the basis of personal data submitted
at the time of ticket purchase. This information would be forwarded
in electronic, or any other agreed, form within time limits also
to be agreed by the parties. Tickets would not be issued by the
Russian authorities to those Russian citizens where the Republic
of Lithuania had objections to their transit via Lithuanian territory.
An FRTD would then be delivered by the competent Lithuanian authorities
to the passenger at, or before, the Lithuanian border once the
Republic of Lithuania had checked that the travel documentation
carried by the passenger was in order. Bearers of an FRTD would
not alight in Lithuania and the duration for each transit would
be limited in time. The EU will provide assistance to Lithuania
for any additional costs of this scheme.
8. The parties noted that the Republic of
Lithuania has agreed to accept Russian internal passports as a
basis for issuing both types of FTD until 31 December 2004. Thereafter,
an FTD or FRTD would only be valid when accompanied by passport
valid for international travel.
9. The European Union and the Russian Federation
have agreed that they will begin work immediately, in cooperation
with the relevant candidate countries, on the technical implementation
of the FTD scheme with the goal of ensuring that the conditions
are in place for the scheme to begin operation on 1 July 2003.
The Russian Federation took note of the European Union's intention
to review the operation of the FTD scheme no later than 2005.
10. The EU has taken note of the Russian
proposal for visa free transit by high speed nonstop train. A
decision to launch a feasibility study in 2003 by independent
consultants will be taken by the EU with the agreement of Lithuania
when there is agreement on the Terms of Reference for the study.
The Commission will as soon as possible after the meeting of the
European Council in Copenhagen initiate the process of developing
Terms of Reference to be worked out by the Commission in cooperation
with Lithuania. The recommendations of the feasibility study must
be in accordance with the Schengen acquis. The feasibility study
should be completed as soon as possible.
The Russian Federation takes note that a decision
on the high speed non-stop train option could only be taken after
Lithuania's accession to the EU, on the basis of a thorough evaluation
of the political and legal aspects and once the technical obstacles
have been overcome.
11. The Russian Federation confirmed its
intention to conclude an intergovernmental readmission agreement
with the Republic of Lithuania covering persons of all nationalities.
Negotiations on this agreement shall start as early as possible
and should be in place no later than 30 June 2003. From 2002,
the Russian Federation and the European Union agree to launch
negotiations for a bilateral readmission agreement.
12. The EU, the relevant candidate countries
and Russia will co-operate on measures inter alia to expand consular
offices and open new ones on each other's territories.
approve before the end of 2002 the
expansion of the Lithuanian Consulate General in Kaliningrad and
the opening of a new consulate in Sovetsk;
favourably consider requests to open
consulates in the Kaliningrad Region from other EU and candidate
13. The European Union notes the Russian
Federation's intention to continue to make best endeavours with
regard to speeding up the issuance of passports valid for international
travel to its citizens.
14. The European Union and the Russian Federation
agree that all of the above mentioned provisions are mutually
complementary and are considered as a single package.
15. The Russian Federation and the European
Union agree to continue discussions within the PCA framework on
the appropriate technical modalities for the transit of goods.
Done at Brussels on 11 November 2002
12 Ev 19-21. Back
Ev 21-22. Back