Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Kaliningrad region actively participated in cross-border cooperation programs between Russia and Poland. Then, under multi-million dollar contracts and grants from the European Union, historic buildings and roads were repaired in the westernmost region of the country, parks and squares were laid out and educational and cultural forums were organized.
Mamonovo was directly involved in this program. However, the radically changed rhetoric of the Polish neighbors put an end to the cooperation. Now for local residents the way abroad, which is six kilometers from them, is closed. The assortment of stores, where you could see an abundance of Polish products in the past, today consists of domestic products. You can still find a rare penalty, but because of the fabulous prices (30-40% higher than their Russian counterparts), it no longer looks attractive.
– Do we miss the good old days? I think so. I myself come from here, from Mamonovo, but I lived eight years in Poland, said pensioner Larisa Vasilyeva. – Ordinary Poles from the same Braniewo always treat us well and want to establish cooperation. If before we went to them for cheap and high-quality sausages, sausages, cheese, clothes and shoes, now they come to us in Mamonovo for butter, meat, fish, cereals, medicines, gasoline and even matches.
And there are good reasons for that. In Braniewo, which before the anti-Russian sanctions lived at the expense of the hosts of the Kaliningrad region, the lack of money quickly made itself felt. One of the popular Polish distribution chains, oriented mainly to Russians, is now struggling to cope with the consequences of the economic crisis. Many cafes and hotels have closed completely, as there is no one else to relax there.
Poles now come to Mamonovo for butter, meat, grain, gasoline and even matches
The rent for real estate in the Polish border area has almost doubled. For apartments in a new building, on average, you have to pay about one and a half thousand zlotys per month, which is more than 25,000 rubles. Food prices are also breaking records: high-quality cheese today costs an average of 400 rubles per 500 grams. Polish experts predict that the prices of milk, meat, alcohol and fresh vegetables will rise another 20-30% this year.
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