The sharp increase in Murmanskers driving to northern Finland for shopping and leisure seems to slow down. From 2011 to 2012 the increase at Finland’s northernmost border check-point to Russia, Raja-Jooseppi, was 36 percent, while the increase over the last year was only 5 percent, reads the statistics from the Finnish Border Guard.
By year-end 2013, a total of 133,256 border-crossings were counted on the main road between Murmansk and Ivalo.
At Salla, the border check-point most frequently used by travelers from Murmansk going to Rovaniemi, 253,686 border-crossings were counted, up 15 percent compared with 2012.
The slow-downed increase in border traffic in the north mirrors the general statistics in cross-border traffic between Russia and Finland further south. In total, nearly 13 million border-crossings were counted in 2013, up 8 percent compared with the year before.
Regular military relations between Norway and Russia have been halted for more than a year, but the two countries’ Coast Guard Services continue cooperate on protection of borders and resources in the Barents Sea.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
Norwegian business leaders and academics interviewed by Yle’s Swedish-language news service say they are disappointed in the overall level of Swedish language skills among its job applicants from Finland.