New conditions for spatial development in Polish-Russian border regions
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After Poland and the Baltic States accessed the European Community, the Baltic became an internal EU water basin with stability and economic development extending to this zone, progressing free flow of people, goods and capital. The Kaliningrad Oblast may benefit from the above only to a limited degree because the political and economic life standards are not adapted to the technological standards of the new environment. Nevertheless, supporters of economic and social integration of the Kaliningrad Oblast with its closest environment are gaining ground, especially in the Oblast itself. They realise that the Oblast cannot function deprived of close co-operation with Baltic Europe neighbours, and particularly Poland and Lithuania. They support cross-border co-operation and foreign investments in the region. Thanks to them Kaliningrad co-operation develops under many Baltic initiatives and programmes. The signing of the agreement on free shipping on the entire Vistula Lagoon on October 1, 2009 may prove to be a major drive for the activation of the sea port in Elbląg and tourist animation of other small ports around the water basin. The revival of the Elbląg - Kaliningrad line is connected with the import of coal amounting to approximately 10 thousand tons per month. Import of aggregate is also planned. The development of a new model for EU and Russia co-operation may stimulate the economy and new forms of spatial development of Polish and Kaliningrad border regions.
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