The only comprehensive English-language study of Kaliningrad, this invaluable book explores the history and uncertain fate of the former East Prussia. When the USSR collapsed in 1991, Kaliningrad became a Russian exclave. As its neighbors turned to the West for investment and leadership, Kalingrad's own source of income and stability-a massive military presence-was withdrawn. The 1998 ecomic crisis made the situation even more desperate, and by the end of the 1990s, Russia's westernmost oblast was deemed a black hole of social and ecomic decay, t the future Hong Kong once imagined. Today, with the eastward enlargement of the EU and NATO, many fear that Russia may remilitarize the region and possibly deploy nuclear weapons there. The U.S. government has expressed willingness to work with the EU and Russia to address the Kaliningrad question, but Moscow has remained wary of Washington's involvement in the exclave, in part due to the failure of the United States to recognize Kaliningrad as a de jure possession of Russia. Although some analysts believe U.S.- Russian cooperation in addressing the Kaliningrad question could promote greater harmony in their relationship, most Western policymakers kw little about the region. Richard Krickus, a leading expert on Kaliningrad, fills a crucial gap by tracing its long history of unstable possession, critiquing Russian and Western policy, and mapping out possible futures for the oblast. The Kaliningrad Question will be an invaluable guide to understanding the region and the potential flash points of conflict associated with it.
Richard J. Krickus is professor emeritus of political science at Mary Washington College.