Moscow sees no reasons for upholding the suspension of the Russian-Polish agreement on local border traffic, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
“The Polish side explained its decision (to temporarily suspend the agreement on local border traffic) by necessity of ensuring security during the NATO summit in Warsaw (July 8-9) and International Youth Days in Krakow (July 26-31),” the foreign ministry said. The Russian side “on the principle of reciprocity also suspended Article 5 Part 2 from July 4 until it receives the official notification from the Polish side about resuming former traffic regulations in accordance with the inter-governmental agreement on local border traffic,” the ministry noted.
“As we all know, both large international events have finished on the territory of Poland. In this regard, we think that there are no grounds to uphold the suspension of the agreement,” the ministry continued. “However, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Jaroslaw Zielinski said on August 2 that local border traffic with Russia will not be resumed due to ‘consistent security problems that served as a reason to temporarily suspend’ local border traffic,” the foreign ministry said.
Such statements are “at least surprising,” the ministry went on.
“The Polish initiative seemed questionable from the very start. The Kaliningrad Region, whose residents are covered by the agreement, is rather far from Warsaw and Krakow, and Russian participants of local border traffic are allowed to visit only certain parts of northern border voivodeships of Poland,” the ministry added.
The agreement on local border traffic was a positive example of pragmatic bilateral cooperation based on mutual consideration of interests of Russian and Polish people, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“In 2015, checkpoints at the Russian-Polish border were crossed by 4.34 million people – 1.3 million of Kaliningrad residents and over 3 million Polish citizens,” the ministry added.
“Considering the fact that the inter-governmental agreement on local border traffic was suspended on the initiative of the Polish side, the date of possible resumption of local border traffic also depends fully on Warsaw,” the foreign ministry noted.