Finland-Russia border sees record traffic in 2011

The border of southeastern Finland and Russia saw a record number of crossings over the past year.

New figures released by the Frontier Guard reveal that 8.6 million people crossed the international boundary over the last 12 months, marking the highest ever figure for the border and a traffic increase of 28 percent from the previous year.

The Nuijamaa and Imatra crossing points saw the biggest change, with border crossings up by 36 percent and 39 percent, respectively, in 2011. Similarly, the Vainikkala checkpoint saw 27 percent more international travellers; however, the temporary crossing at Parikkala saw 23 percent fewer crossings in the last year.

The figures released this week, which included crossings via Lappeenranta Airport as well as at port checkpoints in Lappeenranta and Nuijamaa, showed that 2011 saw 3,155,000 crossings at Vaalimaa and only 1,000 fewer at Nuijamaa.

December proved to be the busiest period for the border area in 2011, with 17th December being the busiest day of the year, with some 39,500 people moving through checkpoints between Russia and Finland on that day.

The Frontier Guard has said traffic has moved quickly in recent days but that crossing points are expected to remain busy throughout the week as a large number of Russians return home from shopping trips and holidays over the new year week.