The modern speed train takes you from down-town St. Petersburg to the central station in Helsinki in 3 ½ hours. All customs and passport checks are conducted onboard. Travelers can even get their tax-free refunds onboard. With a ticket price of €86, the joint Finnish, Russian Allegro express train has become a great success.
Allegro express train at Helsinki central station. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
During the first year of operation, the Allegro express train has had around 280.000 passengers, far more than expected, reports Finnish railways VR-Group.
– The growth in the number of passengers on the Allegro is expected to continue. The aim is 500 000 trips per year by 2015 says VR’s Director, Long-distance Services Ari Vanhanen in a press-release.
Trips made by Finns to Russia are still mainly business trips whereas Russians come to Finland for the most part on leisure trips.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
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.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.