The road between Murmansk and Ivalo goes through the border crossing point of Lotta/Raja-Jooseppi. Here from the Finnish side. Photo: Atle Staalesen

Moscow takes control over roads leading to the Finnish border

About 500 km of road in the Murmansk region will from now on be managed by federal authorities. It will lead to better cross-border connections with Finland, regional authorities argue.
June 20, 2019

The decision to transfer the management of the roads from the regional to federal authorities was announced during Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov’s visit to Murmansk this week.

«We are talking about two roads that are international and part of cross-border cooperation,» Murmansk acting Governor Andrey Chibis says in a comment to RIA Novosti.

The roads lead to the border-crossing points of Salla and Lotta respectively and their total distance is about 500 km. They will be transferred to the federal level of power in the course of 2019-2020, Chibis makes clear.

«This will radically enhance the quality of the road service,» the acting governor underlines.

The transfer of ownership comes as the two roads in question are undergoing upgrades as part of the EU-sponsored Kolarctic cross-border cooperation program. About 51 km of the road between Murmansk and the border-crossing point of Lotta is to be reconstructed, the regional government says.

Also the road leading to border-crossing point Salla has got upgrades with support from the Kolarctic program.

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A significant part of roads and highways in the Murmansk region has over the last years undergone upgrade. And more is in the process. According to regional authorities, more than 60 km of road in 14 different parts of the region will be reconstructed in 2019. That is twice more than in 2018.

A total of 1.3 billion rubles are to be spent, of which 872 million by the federal budget, about 300 million by the region itself and about 100 million by municipalities.

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