FINLAND-RUSSIA RAIL TRAFFIC GRADUALLY PHASING OUT
Rail freight traffic between Finland and Russia will gradually cease after the existing transport contracts of state-controlled company VR Group end, with traffic being still possible for the time being.
The VR Group first announced a stoppage of rail traffic between Finland and Russia on 27 March, citing sanctions as the reason. Whilst this decision was reversed on the ground that sanctions did not burden operations, the company decided to stop rail freight traffic to and from Russia after an internal assessment - mainly due to moral reasons related to the Russian war in Ukraine.
Whilst the decision is not prohibitive, it makes processes for private operators more complex due to VR’s role for cross-border traffic, including the management of information systems related to border formalities. Overall, the process will span over multiple months as VR decided not to suspend the existing transport contracts with the Russian Railways, but to wait until they expire. Simultaneously it will not sign any new ones. As a result, traffic will stop automatically when the active contracts end.