Three hour time difference, at least for a while

Storskog, Borisoglebsk will be the only land-border check-point in Europe with three hour time difference. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Moscow has still not decided on when, or if, Russia should change to daylight saving time. From Sunday, there will be three hour time difference on the border to Norway and two hours to Finland.


The Barents Region is getting dark. Like every late autumn. But while Norway, Finland and Sweden follows the rest of Europe and change the clock to daylight saving time, Russia will just be darker. Last year, then-President Dmitri Medvedev decided to cancel the twice-a-year change from winter time to summer time and vice versa.

The result was darker mornings in Russia’s northern cities. Like in Murmansk where you could end up in the street watching the clock and wondering if it was 11 o’clock am or pm.

Medvedev’s cancelation of the time change between summer and winter is heavily criticized, not only by Murmanskers, but all the way to health ministry officials and the State Duma. Most agree that year-around fixed summer time like today is no permanent solution.

A bill was even submitted to the State Duma suggesting to reverse the Medvedev time-change reform, as reported by BarentsObserver in late September. Since then, little has happened. On Sunday, Europe is switching to winter time.

Time change could come later
Head of the State Duma’s Committee on Health, Sergei Kalashnikov, still does not rule out the possibility that Russia might change to daylight saving time later this winter.

“I was informed that the government is discussing the issue,” Kalashnikov told RIA Novosti on Monday.

Until a decision is made, the Norwegian, Russian land border will have a three hour time difference from Sunday morning, October 28. In other words, you can enjoy your breakfast on the Norwegian side, cross the border and go directly to lunch.

For practical reasons, it will be the Russian border check-point at Borisoglebsk that will adjust its opening hours.

Opening hours at Borisoglebsk will change
“It will be Norwegian opening hours, from 7 am to 9 pm, says head of Storskog check-point Stein Hansen to BarentsObserver. New opening hours on Borisoglebsk will then be from 10 am to Midnight Moscow time. The time difference between Finland and Russia will be two hours.

One, two and three hour time difference, for how long and if changed in Russia; will it change back next spring? Welcome to border-crossing exercise in the Barents Region in times of change.