#12 - JRL 7062
Poll shows most people in Kaliningrad want to remain bound to Russia
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Moscow, in Russian 13 Feb 03
Kaliningrad: From time to time Kaliningrad residents learn with surprise from articles in foreign and even Russian newspapers about their separatist tendencies and their desire to move away from Russia and drift towards the West... [newspaper's ellipsis]
"The problem of separatism is not currently an issue for us," Sergey Tsyplenkov, the director of the Kaliningrad Sociological Centre, says. "Only 4 per cent of Kaliningrad residents are in favour of the region seceding from Russia. In the past 10 years this figure has remained the same and only once rose to 20 per cent - in 1992 during the nationwide `parade of sovereignties'." It is another matter that a considerable number of the region's residents consider their geopolitical circumstances to be special and that this should be taken into account. However, a desire to have more concessions and rights can certainly not be described as separatism.
Here are the results of the most recent poll: Some 28 per cent of respondents are of the view that the "region will remain part of Russia with the same status as other Russian regions" (incidentally, in comparison with last summer, this figure has increased). Some 39 per cent of Kaliningrad residents supported the view that the "region will remain part of Russia but its status will differ from that of other Russian regions". Seventeen per cent thought it desirable that the region "be counted as part of Russia but live according to its own laws", that is, have more rights and concessions of various kinds. And 4 per cent of respondents would like the region to secede from Russia and become fully autonomous while a further 4 per cent want it to become part of another country. The remaining respondents were "don't knows".