OSW Studies

A captive island: Kaliningrad between Moscow and the EU

Cover of the report

The Kaliningrad region can be called a 'captive island', because of its specific geopolitical location - it is part of the Russian legal, political and economic space, yet it is geographically separated from the rest of the Russian Federation, and it is particularly open to co-operation with its neighbours in the European Union. Moscow is trying to compensate the region for its separation, offering it financial support and economic privileges.At the same time, it is sensitive to any potential challenges to Russia's territorial integrity - and the centre's desire for control over the region often limits the latter's potential for cooperation and internal development. This report presents the situation in the region, and is intended to help develop a model for its effective regional co-operation with its EU neighbours.