Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Moscow No Longer Interested in Having Kaliningrad Serve as Russia’s Showcase for the West, Kolchin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 18 – Putin’s appointment of Aleksey Besprozvanny as governor of Kaliningrad shows that Moscow “is no longer interested in having that region play the role of a showcase for Russia in the West,” a role that it played in Soviet times and until recently in post-Soviet times as well, Pyotr Kolchin says.

            The St. Petersburg political scientist says that Moscow expects the new governor to promote the kind of economic development in the noncontiguous region that will increase its integration with the rest of the Russian Federation and to more actively support security interests there (

            Given Besprozvanny’s career in Moscow, Kolchin says, it is likely he will do just that; and that he will not seek to make Kaliningrad into a showcase for Moscow or promote ties with neighboring countries. Earlier governors also had worked in Moscow but many of them became local patriots. Bezprozvanny seems less likely to make any such transition.

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