|- City -|
Location of Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia
|City Day||July 4; observed on the first Saturday of July|
|Administrative status (as of November 2011)|
|Federal subject||Kaliningrad Oblast|
|Administratively subordinated to||city of oblast significance of Kaliningrad|
|Administrative center of||Kaliningrad Oblast, city of oblast significance of Kaliningrad|
|Municipal status (as of July 2009)|
|Urban okrug||Kaliningrad Urban Okrug|
|Administrative center of||Kaliningrad Urban Okrug|
|Representative body||City Council of Deputies|
|Area (urban okrug) (February 2012)||223.03 km2 (86.11 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)||431,402 inhabitants|
|- Rank in 2010||40th|
|Density (February 2012)||1,900 /km2 (4,900 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||USZ1 (UTC+03:00)|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 4012|
|Kaliningrad on WikiCommons|
Kaliningrad (Russian: Калининград, IPA: [kəlʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat]), formerly called Königsberg (German: Königsberg; Russian: Кёнигсберг; Old Prussian: Twangste, Kunnegsgarbs, Knigsberg; Lithuanian: Karaliaučius; Polish: Królewiec), is a seaport city and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. The territory borders on NATO and European Union members Poland and Lithuania, and is geographically separated from the rest of Russia.
The locality was a site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement/fort Twangste. In 1255, a new fortress was built on this site by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusades, and was named "Königsberg" in honour of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. The town was part of the State of the Teutonic Order, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire, Prussia and Germany (until 1945). Until the end of World War II, the area formed the northern part of the former East Prussia. The city was largely destroyed during World War II; its ruins were captured by the Red Army in 1945 and its German population fled or was removed by force. It was named Kaliningrad in 1946 in honor of Mikhail Kalinin. In 2005 Kaliningrad celebrated its 750 years of existence.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Change of name
- 4 Administrative and municipal status
- 5 Climate
- 6 Cityscape
- 7 Culture
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Economy
- 10 Military
- 11 Poles in Kaliningrad
- 12 Sports
- 13 Notable residents
- 14 International relations
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Until around 1900 ships drawing more than 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) of water could not pass the bar and come into town; larger vessels had to anchor at Pillau (now Baltiysk), where merchandise was moved onto smaller vessels. In 1901 a ship canal between Königsberg and Pillau, completed at a cost of 13 million German marks, enabled vessels of a 6.5 meters (21 ft) draught to moor alongside the town (see also Ports of the Baltic Sea).
Khrabrovo Airport, 24 kilometers (15 mi) north of Kaliningrad, has a few scheduled and charter services to several destinations throughout Europe. There is the smaller Kaliningrad Devau Airport for general aviation. Kaliningrad is also home to Kaliningrad Chkalovsk naval air base.
Kaliningrad was previously the East Prussian city of Königsberg. Founded in 1255 by the Teutonic Knights on the site of the Old Prussian settlement of Twangste (Tuwangste, Tvankste), the city was named in honor of the Bohemian King Ottokar II. Through the periods of Germanisation and colonisation over the following centuries, German culture became dominant, with sizable Polish and Lithuanian minorities. During World War II the city of Königsberg was largely destroyed by the Soviets.
At the end of World War II in 1945, the city became part of the Soviet Union pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement (as part of the Russian SFSR) as agreed upon by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference:
VI. CITY OF KÖNIGSBERG AND THE ADJACENT AREA
The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government that pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement the section of the western frontier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which is adjacent to the Baltic Sea should pass from a point on the eastern shore of the Bay of Danzig to the east, north of Braunsberg and Goldap, to the meeting point of the frontiers of Lithuania, the Polish Republic and East Prussia.
The Conference has agreed in principle to the proposal of the Soviet Government concerning the ultimate transfer to the Soviet Union of the city of Koenigsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above, subject to expert examination of the actual frontier.
Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 after the death of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Mikhail Kalinin, one of the original Bolsheviks. The survivors of the German population were forcibly expelled and the city was repopulated with Soviet citizens. The German language was replaced by the Russian language.
The city was rebuilt, and, as the westernmost territory of the USSR, the Kaliningrad Oblast became a strategically important area during the Cold War. The Soviet Baltic Fleet was headquartered in the city in the 1950s. Because of its strategic importance, Kaliningrad was closed to foreign visitors.
The town of Baltiisk, just outside Kaliningrad, is the only Russian Baltic Sea port said to be "ice-free" all year round, and the region hence plays an important role in maintenance of the Baltic Fleet.
Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Kaliningrad Oblast became an exclave, geographically separated from the rest of Russia. This isolation from the rest of Russia became even more pronounced politically when Poland and Lithuania became members of NATO and subsequently the European Union in 2004. All military and civilian land links between the region and the rest of Russia have to pass through members of NATO and the EU. Special travel arrangements for the territory's inhabitants have been made through the Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD).
In July 2005, the 750-year jubilee of the city was widely celebrated.
In July 2007, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov declared that if US-controlled missile defense systems were deployed in Poland, then nuclear weapons might be deployed in Kaliningrad. On November 5, 2008, Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said that installing missiles in Kaliningrad was almost a certainty. These plans were suspended, however, in January 2009.
But during late 2011, a long range Voronezh radar was commissioned to monitor missile launches within about 6,000 kilometres (3,728 miles). It is situated in the settlement of Pionersky (formerly German Neukuhren) in Kaliningrad Oblast.
Change of name
There has been some debate about whether to change the name of the city back to "Königsberg" in the same way that several other Russian cities have reverted to their pre-Soviet names, e.g. Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Tver, which were known in the Soviet era as Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, and Kalinin, respectively. "Kyonig" (Кёниг, a shortened form of "Königsberg" in Russian) is often used in advertisements for tourism companies in the region. Another possibility would be to give it a Russian name based on its historic designation in other Slavic languages, such as "Korolevets".
Others have suggested slightly modifying the city's name to "Kalinograd", thus removing its overtly Soviet connotation. The Kalina, or Guelder Rose, is a plant which possesses sacred connotations within Slavic folklore. The Kalina is a common motif found in scores of traditional folk songs, particularly those symbolizing youth and innocence, as well as those associated with weddings and funerals.
Kantgrad is an alternative name for the city. The name of Kantgrad (the city in honour of the great philosopher Immanuel Kant) had been promoted by critical intellectuals and media around the globe. Kant was born in this city in 1724 and never left the city until the end of his creative life in 1804. In 2008, a new circle of international academicians living in Kaliningrad led by M. Dar & N. Djadjuk (both were academicians of the Klaus Mehnert Institute in Kaliningrad) founded the Kantgrad International Society, to promote the rebirth of Kantian spirit.
Administrative and municipal status
Kaliningrad is the administrative center of the oblast. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as the city of oblast significance of Kaliningrad—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Kaliningrad is incorporated as Kaliningrad Urban Okrug.
As of 2011, the city is divided into three administrative districts:
|Moskovsky||Московский||152,165||Named after the Russian capital, Moscow|
|Leningradsky||Ленинградский||159,771||named after Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg|
|Tsentralny||Центральный||119,966||lit. central, as it lies to the northwest of the historical city center|
Two administrative districts were abolished in June 2009:
|Baltiysky||Балтийский||68,664||named after the Baltic Sea|
|Oktyabrsky||Октябрьский||43,252||named after the October Revolution|
Kaliningrad has a temperate climate, with cold, cloudy, moderate winters and mild summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms. Average temperatures range from −1.5 to 18.1 °C (29.3 to 64.6 °F) and rainfall varies from 36.0 millimeters (1.42 in)/month to 97.0 millimeters (3.82 in)/month. In general, it is a maritime climate and therefore damp, variable and mild.
The seasons are clearly differentiated. Spring starts in March and is initially cold and windy, later becoming pleasantly warm and often very sunny. Summer, which begins in June, is predominantly warm but hot at times (with temperature reaching as high as 30–35 °C (86–95 °F) at least once per year) with plenty of sunshine interspersed with heavy rain. The average annual hours of sunshine for Kaliningrad are 1700, similar to other northern cities. July and August are the hottest months. Autumn comes in September and is at first warm and usually sunny, turning cold, damp and foggy in November. Winter lasts from December to March and includes periods of snow. January and February are the coldest months with the temperature sometimes dropping as low as −15 °C (5 °F).
|Climate data for Kaliningrad|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.7
|Average high °C (°F)||0.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−32.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||68
|Avg. rainy days||14||13||14||14||14||16||15||16||17||18||18||16||185|
|Avg. snowy days||15||15||10||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||7||13||64|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||34.1||61.6||120.9||171.0||254.2||264.0||257.3||229.4||159.0||96.1||39.0||24.8||1,711.4|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory |
Kaliningrad has many museums. A few examples are the Immanuel Kant museum on the Kneiphof island, the Regional Museum of History and Arts, which has parts of Königsberg Castle's Prussia Museum of local archaeological findings, and the Kaliningrad Amber Museum, which is situated in the Dohna Tower near the Rossgarten Gate. The city also has an art gallery with eight exhibition rooms.
The Museum of the World's Oceans is located on the former research vessel Wityaz on the shore of the Pregel river. The museum displays the newest technologies on sea research and also shows the diversity of the flora and fauna of the world's oceans. An anchored Foxtrot-class submarine next to the museum, the B-413, hosts an exhibit about the Russian submarine fleet.
The Kaliningrad Philharmonic Orchestra is accommodated in the former Catholic Church of the Holy Family of Königsberg, built in 1907. The church was destroyed during World War II, but rebuilt afterwards. The building, which has noted acoustics, functions as an organ hall since re-opening in 1980.
The Kaliningrad Regional Drama Theater is located in the former Königsberg Neues Schauspielhaus, which was opened in 1910. The building was rebuilt after the war using earlier plans for the theater and opened in 1960. The colonnade in front of the entrance was modeled after the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
The regionally notable Kaliningrad Puppet Theater has had its seat since 1975 in the Queen Louise Remembrance Church. This neo-romantic church, designed by architect Fritz Heitmann, was built in 1901.
The pre-war city center (Altstadt and Kneiphof) currently consists of parks, broad avenues, a square on the site of the former Königsberg Castle, and only two buildings: the House of Soviets ("Dom Sovyetov"), roughly on the site of the former castle, and the restored Königsberg Cathedral on the Kneiphof island (now "Kant island"). Immanuel Kant's grave is situated next to the cathedral. The new city center is concentrated around Victory Square. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, consecrated in 2005, is located on that square.
The oldest building in Kaliningrad is the Juditten Church (built before 1288). Also worth seeing are the former Stock Exchange, the surviving churches, and the remaining city gates. In counter-clockwise order these gates are: the Sackheim Gate, King's Gate, Rossgarten Gate, Attack Gate (German: Ausfallstor, or Sally Port), Railway Gate (Eisenbahntor), Brandenburg Gate, and Friedland Gate (Friedländer Tor). Apart from the already mentioned Dohna Tower, which houses the Amber Museum, the Wrangel Tower also remains as a reminder of the former Königsberg city walls. Only the gate of the former Fort Friedrichsburg remains.
Notable monuments include the statue of Immanuel Kant in front of the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia. The statue was made by notable sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch and unveiled in 1864. The statue was destroyed in 1945, but was remoulded in 1992 on the initiative of Marion Dönhoff. Also worth seeing is the Cosmonaut monument, which honours the Kaliningrad cosmonauts Alexei Leonov, Yuri Romanenko and Aleksandr Viktorenko. Other statues and monuments include the statue for Duke Albert, the statue for Friedrich Schiller, the statue for Tsar Peter the Great, Vladimir Vysotsky, the "Mother Russia" monument, and the Monument for the 1200 Guardsmen, remembering the Battle of Königsberg.
The Kaliningrad Zoo was opened as the Königsberg Zoo in 1896. The collection, which extends over 16.5 ha, comprises 315 species with a total of 2,264 individual animals (as of 2005). The Kaliningrad Zoo is also an arboretum.
Centrally located in the city is Lower Pond, an artificial lake. Lower Pond is surrounded by a promenade and is an area for recreation especially in summer. North of the Lower Pond is the larger Upper Pond in northern Kaliningrad.
An important education centre in Kaliningrad is the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. It is the successor to Albertina, which was the old university of Königsberg founded in 1544. One of its best known professors was Immanuel Kant.
The modern city of Kaliningrad is home to the Kaliningrad Regional Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra, the Lik male chamber choir and the Garmonika Russian music ensemble, as well as the Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra.
Kaliningrad has its own vodka and beer brands, Stari Königsberg and Ostmark respectively. Since the early 1990s many new restaurants have opened in the city. These restaurants offer culinary specialities of former East Prussia, like Königsberger Klopse, but also many fish and salad dishes, Italian pizza and sushi, which is as popular in Kaliningrad as in the rest of Russia. Königsberger Fleck, a bovine tripe soup and yet another culinary specialty from former Königsberg, no longer belongs to the eating culture of Kaliningrad.
The people of Kaliningrad generally imported their respective culinary traditions to the region when they settled in the area after 1945. Borshch and okroshka may be served as in the rest of Russia. Many Italian and Asian restaurants (or fusions of both traditions) are in operation all over the city. Pizza and sushi are among the most popular dishes today. Fast food is widely available from various chains, including those of foreign origin: McDonald's and Subway began operations in Kaliningrad in 2011. Shawarma is also gaining considerable prominence.
Kaliningrad's Khrabrovo Airport, located near Khrabrovo, mainly connects Kaliningrad to other Russian cities, but also offers flights to other European cities. In Baltiysk, one can take a ferry to St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Riga, and Kiel. Kaliningrad's international railway station is Kaliningrad Passazhirsky, which in German times was known as Königsberg Hauptbahnhof. Trains depart in the directions of Malbork, Berlin, Baltiysk, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Minsk, Kharkiv, Anapa, and Bagrationovsk. A unique feature of the Kaliningrad railway is that some tracks in the direction of Poland and Berlin have a standard gauge of 1,435-millimeter (56.5 in) track parallel to the commonly Russian broad gauge of 1,520 millimeters (60 in) mostly for strategic reasons during the Cold War and nowadays for goods traffic. One platform at the Passzhirsky station can be reached on standard gauge over the former Ostbahn main line from Elbing (Elblag) making passenger through traffic from Berlin possible.
Regional trains depart from Kaliningrad Severny, the former Königsberg Nordbahnhof, which is situated on Victory Square, the current city center. Trains depart to Zelenogradsk and Svetlogorsk and also once a day to Sovetsk. The lines to the north and northwest have been electrified. Many local pre-war lines have been broken up or are no longer in use, also because the new border with Poland completely disrupted the former traffic flows.
In 1881, the Königsberg tramway was opened, and it still functions to this day. In 1975, a trolleybus system was also introduced.
In 1996, Kaliningrad was designated a Special Economic Zone. Manufacturers based there get tax and customs duty breaks on the goods they send back to Russia. Although corruption was an early deterrent, that policy means the region is now a manufacturing hub. One in three televisions in Russia is made in Kaliningrad (producers "Telebalt" Ltd., which produces TVs under the brand Erisson, and holding "Polar", located in the city of Chernyakhovsk produces TVs under its own brand Polar). , and it is home to Cadillac, Hummer and BMW related car plants (produced at the company's plants Avtotor). Currently, Kaliningrad's major industries are manufacturing, shipping, fishing and amber products. Moscow has declared it will turn the region into "the Russian Hong Kong".
The European Commission provides funds for business projects under its special programme for Kaliningrad. The region has begun to see increasing trade with the countries of the EU as well as increasing economic growth and rising industrial output. With an average GDP growth of more than 10% per year for three years to 2007, Kaliningrad is growing faster than any other region in Russia, even outstripping the success of its EU neighbours.
Kaliningrad Oblast used to be the most heavily militarized area of what is now the Russian Federation, and the density of military infrastructure was the highest in Europe. It was the headquarters of the former Soviet Baltic Military District. Kaliningrad also functions as the headquarters of the Russia's Baltic Fleet, circled by Chernyakhovsk (air base), Donskoye (air base) and Kaliningrad Chkalovsk (naval air base).
Access and control to the Baltic Sea was imperative because of Soviet perceptions that this meant that the hegemonic power had "influence on European and global affairs". Russia had replaced Sweden as the hegemon since the 18th century, but during the late 19th and early 20th century it was increasingly ousted by Germany's growing naval power. At any point in time during the Soviet era, there would be at least 100,000 troops stationed in Kaliningrad (though there are some estimates that run up to 300,000). Therefore, the population of the city was fluid and almost always temporary. Many military officers and their families would refer to the Kaliningrad Oblast as "the West". The Soviet Union also kept nuclear weapons for use in case a war were to occur.
Poles in Kaliningrad
In the 1940s and 1950s the Soviets resettled Poles from Belarus, the Baltic states, Ukraine, and Russia to Kaliningrad. According to Wacław Podbereski after the Second World War and the takeover of the administration in these areas by the Soviets, the development of the Polish element in this region effectively ceased. The oldest church in Königsberg was the Polish church of St. Nicholas, which had been founded with the city in 1255 in the historic district of Steindamm and was dismantled in 1950. Change came with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, due mainly to pastoral activities that began the repolonization of the Poles in Russia. The first steps were made by a Polish priest from Grodno (Hrodna), Fr. Jerzy Steckiewicz.
The "Polish Cultural Community in Kaliningrad" operates as the main Polish organization among Kaliningrad's Polonia, one of six such Polish organizations within Kaliningrad Oblast. Wspolnota Polska estimates that there is likely to be between 15,000 to 20,000 Poles living in the entire oblast. The "Polish Cultural Community in Kaliningrad" organizes poetry contests and is the publisher of the local Polish language newspaper "The Voice from the Pregel". In the entire Kaliningrad Oblast there are six Polish organizations. The whole Kaliningrad Oblast has witnessed an increase in Polish cultural activity since the fall of the Soviet Union, partly due to the emigration of Polish families from Kazakhstan, who had been deported by Stalin during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.
Kaliningrad is home to the football club FC Baltika Kaliningrad, which plays in the Football Championship of the National League (formerly Russian First Division). It played in the Russian Premier League between 1996-1998 (3 seasons).
Kaliningrad will be the host of some games in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- Sergey Snegov (1910–1994), science fiction writer
- Sergei Beloglazov (born 1956) Olympic wrestler
- Alexander Volkov (born 1967), tennis player
- Alexey Leonov (born 1934), first person to walk in space
- Viktor Patsayev (1933–1971)
- Yury Romanenko (born 1944)
- Alexander Viktorenko (born 1947)
- Oleg Gazmanov (born 1951), singer
- Lyudmila Putina (born 1958), ex-wife of Vladimir Putin, First Lady of Russia
- Tvangeste, symphonic black metal band
- Dmitry Lapikov (born 1982), Olympic weightlifter
Small border traffic law
Poland and Russia have an arrangement whereby residents of Kaliningrad and the Polish cities of Olsztyn, Elbląg and Gdańsk may obtain cards permitting repeated travel between the two countries, crossing the Polish-Russian border. As of July 2013, Poland had issued 100,000 of the cards. The musical group Parovoz sings about Russians visiting Poland to shop at the Biedronka and Lidl supermarkets.
Twin towns and sister cities
Kaliningrad is twinned with
Kaliningrad is also partnered with:
- Resolution #640
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- Калининградская областная Дума. Закон №463 от 27 мая 2010 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Калининградской области», в ред. Закона №281 от 6 декабря 2013 г. «О порядке рассмотрения Калининградской областной Думой предложений о присвоении наименований географическим объектам или их переименовании, информирования населения и выявления его мнения о присвоении наименований географическим объектам или их переименовании на территории Калининградской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Калининградская правда" (вкладыш "Ведомости Правительства Калининградской области"), №112, 26 июня 2010 г. (Kaliningrad Oblast Duma. Law #463 of May 27, 2010 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Kaliningrad Oblast, as amended by the Law #281 of December 6, 2013 On the Process Used by the Kaliningrad Oblast Duma to Consider the Proposals to Assign Names to Geographic Objects or to Rename Them, to Inform the Populace and Gather Their Opinion on Assigning Names to Geographic Objects or Renaming Them on the Territory of Kaliningrad Oblast. Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
- Правительство Калининградской области. Постановление №640 от 30 августа 2011 г. «Об утверждении реестра объектов административно-территориального деления Калининградской области», в ред. Постановления №877 от 21 ноября 2011 г «О внесении изменения в Постановление Правительства Калининградской области от 30 августа 2011 г. №640». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Калининградская правда" (вкладыш "Официально"), №170, 15 сентября 2011 г. (Government of Kaliningrad Oblast. Resolution #640 of August 30, 2011 On the Adoption of the Registry of the Objects of the Administrative-Territorial Divisions of Kaliningrad Oblast, as amended by the Resolution #877 of November 21, 2011 On Amending the Resolution of the Government of Kaliningrad Oblast #640 of August 30, 2011. Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
- Калининградская областная Дума. Закон №397 от 15 мая 2004 г. «О наделении муниципального образования "Город Калининград" статусом городского округа», в ред. Закона №370 от 1 июля 2009 г «О составе территорий муниципальных образований Калининградской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская газета" ("Запад России"), №115, 3 июня 2004 г. (Kaliningrad Oblast Duma. Law #397 of May 15, 2004 On Granting the Urban Okrug Status to the Municipal Formation of the "City of Kaliningrad", as amended by the Law #370 of July 1, 2009 On the Composition of the Territories of the Municipal Formations of Kaliningrad Oblast. Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
- Vesilind, Priit J. "Kaliningrad: Coping with a German Past and a Russian Future", National Geographic, March 1997.
- Berger, Stefan "A City and Its Past. Popular Histories in Kaliningrad between Regionalization and Nationalization", in: Popularizing National Past. 1800 to Present, Edited by Stefan Berger, Chirs Lorenz, and Billie Melman, Routledge 2012, pp. 288-307.
- Kaliningrad Region, General Information Kommersant, Russia's daily On-line
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaliningrad.|
- Kaliningrad travel guide
- Sights/monuments/museums in Kaliningrad
- City portal where you can find relevant information
- Kaliningrad at the Open Directory Project
- Territory's history from 1815 to 1945 (German)
- Interactive Map with photos of Königsberg and modern Kaliningrad
- Photos of Königsberg/Kaliningrad, comparing locations in 1939 and 2005 (Russian) (German)
- Panoramic photo of Kaliningrad & Virtual tours over Kaliningrad
- Kaliningrad city and Oblast travel information and photo gallery (German)
- Winter trip to the city of Kaliningrad (English)
- OSW Studies: A captive island. Kaliningrad between Moscow and the EU