Russia ahead on Onega Freeway to Finland

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Construction has already started on the Onega Freeway's Russian side. (Yle)
Construction has already started on the Onega Freeway’s Russian side. (Yle)

Construction has already started on a four-lane toll highway set to run from the Parikkala-Syväoro border crossing in Northern Finland to Petrozavodsk in Northwestern Russia.

A group of Russian, Finnish and international private investors are building a toll highway from Finland into Russia.

Known as the Onega freeway, the 426-kilometre road is scheduled for completion in six years.

But while work is rapidly advancing on the Russian side, on the Finnish side a decision has not yet been made regarding whether to open the border for passenger or commercial traffic.

Governor of Russian Karelia, Alexander Hudilainen, is keen to develop the freeway into a busy transportation corridor for the Karelia region.

Although contracts have been signed, Pauli Haatainen, special advisor to Hudilainen, says that he’s surprised by stalling on the Finnish side.

According to Haatainen, the infrastructure is already being put into place in Russian Karelia, but it hasn’t started in Finnish Karelia.

The project, worth 4.6 billion euros, is motivated by transhipping opportunities in the region.

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