The and medical tourism, mainly to Poland, and development

The continuing economic crisis in Russia has affected the social situation in the oblast. The issue has also brought about a degradation of public sentiment shown above all through dissatisfaction with local socio-economic situation and the freefalling evaluations of people’s own economical situation. This is reflected in the results of different surveys (for example, the amount of those not satisfied with the situation in the region increased by 12 percentage between November 2014 and April 2015). Residents of the oblast also declare that they have noticed increased dissatisfaction with the government’s actions among the general populace due to the increase in prices during the crisis. This has not led to any outbreaks.For Kaliningrad, keeping an open border with its neighbours is a factor for reducing social tension. This is a kind of a valve which enables, for example, for the shortages in the region’s resources and supplies to be made up by shopping and medical tourism, mainly to Poland, and development of entrepreneurship based on cross-border co-operation.The Russian government’s anti-Western propaganda appeals less to residents of the oblast than to those of other regions of the Russia. Social surveys reveal that residents have a positive attitude towards their immediate neighbours. On the other hand, Moscow’s fears that overly relations between residents of Kaliningrad Oblast and their neighbours may result in anti-Kremlin sentiments have proven unfounded. The Kremlin’s activity continues to be evaluated very positively in Kaliningrad Oblast The annexation of Crimea met with massive approval (88%). The opinions are even better in those cities where the Baltic Fleet is stationed.Similarly, the Polish government’s decision to suspend small border traffic ¬†between Poland and Russia, even though it is viewed as an inconvenience by residents of the oblast, has not provoked any marked emotion because they have relatively easy access to EU member states’ visas, and this allows them to maintain intensive external contacts.

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