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.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.