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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU to Back Visa-Free Kaliningrad Train

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Union's executive body will propose concessions Wednesday to end a dispute with Moscow over visas for Kaliningrad residents, according to a confidential EU paper.

The European Commission recommends that the EU member states consider allowing Kaliningrad residents to travel to mainland Russia in special trains without a visa, according to a draft proposal seen by Reuters on Tuesday. The commission rejects Russian demands that the visa-free regime apply also to passengers of long-distance coaches.

Other transit passengers would have to apply for special transit passes, or "facilitated transit documents," at Lithuanian consulates, instead of regular travel visas.

Those passes "could take the form of a securized booklet," which would be available for a small fee or even for free.

Until the end of 2004, the passes would be issued against internal passports.