It looked like a rapprochement between Russia and the EU. In 2012 a visa-free, “small border traffic” zone opened at the border between Poland and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Now the experiment in cross-border cooperation is over.
Russia has launched a power plant to make its Kaliningrad exclave self-reliant when its EU neighbors unplug the power grid. Home to Russia's Baltic Fleet, old East Prussia is still a prime piece of real estate.
Poland's NATO accession in 1999 was meant to provide protection from Russia. Two decades on, a fear of its eastern neighbor remains a decisive factor in Polish politics, especially when it comes to bolstering US ties.
Former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told DW why he sees Russia as a threat to European stability – and why he supports a possible US military presence in Poland.
The Kremlin has stressed its sovereign right to deploy missiles on Russian territory after reports that the country deployed the Iskander nuclear-capable missile system in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.
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