Finland suspends train service to Russia, the last link to the European Union

A little after 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday, it was Allegro express train From St Petersburg arrived in Finnish capitaland with him The last railway link Enter Russia and the European Union (EU)after one month of Russian invasion From Ukraine.

The Finnish VR Train Operator announced on Friday comment The Allegro serviceWho is this Russian attack against Ukraine She sold out all her tickets, as many Russian citizens were looking forward to leaving the country before Western sanctions Make it impossible.

“Now that I’ve picked my cats I have no reason to go back, I have everything that is so precious to me,” said Alex, who only revealed his name.

This muskov, who has lived in Helsinki for several years, got off the train with a box containing two of his pets.

“The situation in Russia has become more and more complicated,” said Alex, a university student who is traveling with his mother from Moscow, where he studies, to their home in Portugal for the Easter holidays.

He will have to return to the Russian capital for his exams in a few weeks.

I don’t know how I will return to Moscow and we will see how this situation is resolved.”

Although there are no official statistics, thousands of Russians have left their country since the invasion.

With European airspace closed to Russian aircraft, those wishing to leave Russia turned to flights via Turkey and Belgrade, as well as by road and rail.

After the invasion on February 24, about 700 passengers daily packed trains to Finland and the service kept running, at Helsinki’s request, to allow Finns in Russia to leave if they wished.

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However, the government told VR on Thursday that “operational service is no longer appropriate” in light of tough sanctions against Russia, and that all trains will be canceled from Monday.

Association symbol

Jointly operated by Finnish and Russian railway companies, the Allegro train was a symbol of the partnership between the two countries when it opened in 2010.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his then Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen traveled on the inaugural service, which cut travel time by two hours to 3.5 hours on the 400-kilometre journey between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg.

“I hope you will be back to the normal process very soon,” said Alija, a woman in her fifties who works in Helsinki but regularly visits friends and family in Saint Petersburg.

Most of the passengers who arrived in the Finnish capital were Russians who live, work or study in Europe.

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