The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 №4

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The development of a Russian-Polish cross-border region: the role of the Kaliningrad agglomeration and the Tri-City (Gdansk—Gdynia—Sopot)



Until 1991 ties between entities located on either side of the Russian-Polish border were virtually non-existent. There were, however, favourable physical, geographical, economic, social, and ekistical conditions for the development of a cross-border region. Since the early 1990s, cooperation between administrative units and municipalities, businesses, and non-governmental organisations has been developing on an institutional basis. Euroregions and cross-border cooperation programmes have become major contributors to cross-border region-building. On either side of the border, there are socio-economic nodes between which axes of cross-border interaction are emerging. The most powerful axis is the Tri-City (Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot) — the Kaliningrad agglomeration. A systemic approach is used to analyse a variety of relationships, reflected in a map showing the diversity of geographical areas of cooperation. The University of Gdansk and the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University are playing an important role in the development of Russian—Polish relations. Although the intensity of cross-border ties has decreased in recent years amid tensions between Russia and the West, there is hope that bilateral socio-economic benefits will encourage the restoration and development of collaborations and the Russian—Polish cross-border region will continue to evolve.