Letter from the Chairman to The Lord Filkin
CBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office
Sub-Committee C considered this item at their
meeting on 20 March and agreed to clear it. A number of questions
have been raised and I would be grateful if you could provide
answers. As you will be aware, we considered the issue of Kaliningrad
in our report (Third Report, Session 2002-03 HL Paper 29) and
accepted that the area required attention from the EU.
The Committee would be interested to know the
Government's views on the following:
1. As a major Russian port it is suggested
that the majority of Kaliningrad residents will have relatives
in mainland Russia. It is our view that it is a meaningless requirement
that applicants provide proof of relatives across the border in
order to apply for an FTD. Can you explain the purpose of this
2. In the joint statement form the European
Union and Russian Federation (11 November 2002) high speed non-stop
trains were proposed with a feasibility study planned for 2003;
when will the feasibility study be completed and are high speed
non-stop trains still being considered?
3. Has consideration been given to low cost
air travel as an alternative to rail travel?
4. Article 5(a) Chapter II (page 15) states
that a "valid document authorising them to cross external
borders" is required by the applicant. Which documents are
considered "valid"; will internal passports be accepted;
how many Kaliningrad resident currently hold a "valid document";
what price are current Russia external passports and how easy
are they to obtain?
5. The example application from (page 19-20)
is very detailed and requires a considerable degree of education
to complete. What are the current literacy levels in Kaliningrad?
6. Annex 1 (FTD) page 27 notes that the
application form shall be in English and German and permits the
issuing State to add a third official Community language. Will
the documents also be available in Russian?
24 March 2003