Road towards Salla border checkpoint between Lapland and Russia's Kola Peninsula. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Border may get shorter opening hours in cost cutting effort

Finland’s Border Guard has to cut spending and considers limiting opening hours at Raja-Jooseppi and Salla.
May 18, 2016

It is Helsingin Sanomat that reports about the suggested cost cuts. On the savings list is limiting opening hours at four of the checkpoints to Russia, including the two bordering Murmansk region in the north.

The two others are Vartius and Kuusamo. In the south, Imatra and Niirala checkpoints could be closed at night.

Both Raja-Jooseppi and Salla are today open from 07:00 to 21:00.

Border traffic between Russia and Finland has decreased by more than a third over the last two years.

Finland’s Border Guard service will have to cut costs by €15 million before 2020, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The savings includes staff reduction, but not along Finland’s eastern border to Russia.

In March, President Sauli Niinistö agreed with President Vladimir Putin that only citizens from Russia, Belarus and Finland are allowed to cross the checkpoints between Lapland and the Kola Peninsula. The limitations are temporary for the coming six months and came as a measure to stop migrants entering Finland from Russia in the north.

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