Cross-border traffic drops between Russia and Arctic Europe

The Storskog border checkpoint between Northwestern Russia and Arctic Norway. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Europe’s three northernmost border checkpoints to Russia all had a decline in traffic of about 4% in 2018.

Less people from the Kola Peninsula (northwestern Russia) travel across the borders to northern Finland and Norway. The decline in 2018 was 4,7% at Salla checkpoint, 4% at Raja-Joosepi and 3,8% at Storskog.

Storskog, which is Norway’s single entry checkpoint from Russia, counted 254,942 border crossings, down about 10,000 compared with 2017, but still higher than 2016 and 2015, figures given to the Barents Observer from the police in charge of immigration control show.

At Finland’s two northernmost border checkpoints, statistics from the Border Guard show that 128,054 travelers were counted at Raja-Joosepi and 221,933 crossings took place at Salla further south in Lapland.

The Finnish Border Guard says 2018 traffic to and from Russia is 48% of what it was back in peak year 2013, when a total of 386,942 people were crossing to and from the Murmansk region.

Also Norway’s Storskog checkpoint had its all-time high in 2013 with 320,000 border crossings.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Fearing issues at U.S. border, Canada’s western Inuit put stop to cannabis sales in Arctic town, CBC News

Finland: Finland to upgrade Arctic border-crossing point to welcome more traffic from northern Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Sliding Russian ruble brings down cross-border traffic with Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Fewer Russians doing cross-border shopping in Northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s security service now screens all who apply for residency, Radio Sweden

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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