Finland suspends last train connecting EU to Russia

Yesterday, the Finnish railway company announced a halt to traffic on the line between Saint Petersburg and Helsinki, as the last trains operating that would allow Russian citizens to reach the European Union. last train Allegro The national VR operator said it will arrive in the Finnish capital on Sunday from Russia.

Despite European sanctions against Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine and the shutdown of most air and land connections, contact was maintained to allow Finnish or Russian citizens – the only nationalities allowed to board – to leave Russia. “So far, we have continued to serve Allegro in accordance with official recommendations, to ensure the return of Finns to Finland,” Tobi Simola, Vice President of VR, said in a press release.

Now, the Finnish government believes that enough time has been allocated for those who wish to return and that “running the service is no longer appropriate” in light of sanctions against Russia.

The trains, which were crowded for a long time in the first weeks after the Ukrainian invasion, with an average of 700 passengers per day, have shown more normal occupancy rates in recent days, around 60%, according to VR.

The Allegro It was suspended for several months due to travel restrictions due to the epidemic and returned to circulation last December, when the epidemiological situation improved, with two trains per day in each direction.

Although there are no official statistics, it is known that thousands of citizens left the country after the invasion of Ukraine, especially Turkey. Finland was also a frequent route, but only Russians who already had a European Schengen visa and an EU-recognized Covid vaccine were allowed to board the train. Allegro . Now, they will only be able to get into the country by private car.

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A train connection with one hundred trains per month also connects the Russian Kaliningrad breaker with the rest of Russia through the territory of the European Union (passing through Lithuania), but transiting Russian citizens cannot disembark at its stop in Vilnius.

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