The crisis involving Ukraine and Russia has weakened the ruble and dampened the Russian appetite for imported cars.
As a result the Kotka-Hamina port has seen a pile-up of new cars with no buyers in the formerly vehicle-hungry eastern neighbor.
The trade in new cars to Russia has decelerated considerably in the wake of the Ukraine-Russia political crisis and the resulting weakening of the ruble, says Kimmo Naski, harbor master of the Kotka-Hamina port in southeast Finland.
The slowdown in the cross-border vehicle trade has caused a backlog of new vehicles crowding the harbor parking area. The brake in demand has coincided with a constant influx of new cars into Finland from locations such as Germany and the Far East, the port chief said.
Usually some 100,000 vehicles bound for Russia pass through the Kotka-Hamina port annually – that figure has remained constant for 5 – 6 years, port authorities added.
The last time the parking area was as full of cars was before the financial downturn in 2008, they add. And just a few years ago, the area was almost empty as imported cars rapidly transited through Finland to new owners in Russia.
Related stories from around the Arctic:
Canada: Feature Interview: Will Russia’s actions in Ukraine affect relations in the Arctic Council?, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Russian tourism in Finland falls 14 percent, Yle News
Russia: Russia’s economic dip could pose risk for Finland says minister, Yle News
United States: U.S.-Russia tensions create worries for Arctic scientists, Alaska Dispatch