More than €11 million will be invested in brand new infrastructure facilities at the northernmost checkpoint between the countries.
The Raja-Jooseppi border-crossing point is up for a big upgrade as the EU Commission approves the building of a new customs and border control point.
It is aimed at facilitating traffic between the northern Finnish region of Lapland and Russia’s neighboring Murmansk Oblast. “By building a new border-crossing point we prepare ourselves on an increase in traffic across the eastern border,” Finnish authorities tell Yle (in Finnish).
The project includes moving customs and checkpoint facilities 800 meters from the borderline.
Construction is due to start early 2020.
Mostly covered by EU
The project will cost more than €11 million, of which 90 percent is covered by EU money. The Finnish Transport Agency will manage the project that is to be completed by late 2021. The funds come from the ENI Kolarctic program, a financial instrument for cross-border cooperation between Nordic and Northwest Russian regions.
Among the new projects approved by the Kolarctic program is also a major upgrade of the highway leading from the border to Murmansk. That project will include general furnishing and surface infrastructure upgrade all the way from the Russian Lotta border checkpoint to Kola (northwestern Russia), the program managers inform.
The border crossing point of Raja-Jooseppi is located about 50 km from Ivalo while Lotta is 190 km from the City of Murmansk.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Norwegian soldiers crossed border to Finland, The Independent Barents Observer
Norway: Barents region leaders dream of visa-free travel, but Schengen Agreement gives little hope, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Putin signs law easing cross-border cooperation with Norway and Finland, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden’s security service now screens all who apply for residency, Radio Sweden