From Russia to Poland visa-free

Russians won’t need visas go from the Kaliningrad region (Russia’s most northwestern point) to neighboring regions of Poland and vice versa in next few months to come. This was revealed by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after talks with his Polish and German counterparts in Kaliningrad.

Originally, Kaliningrad was a German city and had the name of Königsberg. There was also a strong Polish influence in this region. The Polish name for the city is Królewiec. After WWII, this region became a part of the Soviet Union, and the city’s name was changed to Kaliningrad.

Many great people have lived and worked in Königsberg, like astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann and philosopher Immanuel Kant.

The history of the region embraces three cultures – German, Polish and Russian. The international nature of the Kaliningrad region can still be felt now. Polish and German tourists are frequent visitors here. On weekends, many residents of the Kaliningrad region go to Europe for a spot of shopping. According to official data, Poland issued twice as many visas to Russians so far this year as in the whole of 2010. Similar things are true for Germany.