The Finnish national railway operator will suspend flights between the capital Helsinki and the Russian city of St. Petersburg, which has been crowded with Russians fleeing their country for weeks.
The operator, VR Group, said it had decided to suspend service starting Monday Western sanctions on Russia In connection with the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The trains operating this link are owned by Karelian trains, a joint venture between the Finnish state railway operator VR and the Russian state-owned Railway RZD.
Earlier this month, VR said it would add trains to its Helsinki-Saint trains. The Petersburg Link, also known as Alegro, was not financially viable because trains to Russia were almost empty.
“So far, we have been operating Alegro in accordance with official instructions, and the aim is to secure Finland’s access to Finland. During these weeks, it’s time for people who want to leave Russia to leave the country,” Toby Simola, VR’s director of passenger transport, said on Friday.
“Right now, under state ownership control, it is not appropriate to continue running Allegro’s traffic due to restrictions, so we are suspending traffic for the time being,” he said.
The move further isolates Russia from the global transport system. Already the country’s airlines Are heavily disconnected From the global airline network.
Rail connectivity with Finland became significant, and sanctions, increasing loneliness and fears of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s repressive regime drove thousands of Russians out of their country.
Many Russians have fled to neighboring Georgia, Moldova or the Baltic states, and significant numbers have fled west to Finland by bus, train or car. At times, they even took planes and moved so that they could not return home. Some Russians say Mr. They fear that Putin may declare martial law and close the border.