Kaliningrad is Russian 'Dagger' in heart of Europe - US national security adviser claims | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

5 July,

Kaliningrad is Russian 'Dagger' in heart of Europe - US national security adviser claims

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In an ongoing row over withdrawing from arms control agreements, the US has announced that it will be leaving the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed parties to carry out flights over each other's territories and monitor the deployment of troops in order to build mutual trust, EDNews.net reports citing Sputnik.

US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien has compared the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to a "dagger in the heart of Europe" in an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper. He argued that the region's geographic disposition makes it a perfect spot for being a great trade and tourism hub connecting Russia and Europe, but, as O'Brien claimed, Moscow has turned it into a "closed military base full of high-tech weapons and missiles".

"The whole situation with Kaliningrad is a missed opportunity for Russia and Europe, and that's a real shame", the national security adviser concluded.

However, the governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov, strongly disagreed with O'Brien, calling his conclusions about the region sketchy at best and questioning the adviser's professionalism.

"Unfortunately, the American administration, as usual, is superficial in its judgments. Most of their statements on the Kaliningrad region are quite far from reality and reveal the poor competence of such advisers [as O'Brien]", Alikhanov said.

The head of Kaliningrad also suggested that O'Brien might have been disappointed by the region's decision to introduce E-visas, which has attracted many tourists from Germany and Poland, but not Americans. He indicated that the adviser's claims about Kaliningrad being a "closed military base" are obviously unsubstantiated and can only "puzzle" a person familiar with the real situation on the ground.


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