Prepare for roadwork when driving the distance between Kola and Lotta border check-point to Finland later this year. Murmansk regional authorities have allocated 150 million rubles (€3,7 million) in the 2013 budget to start road repair work. The funding is enough to upgrade a distance of some 13 kilometers of the road, according to MBNews.
Last year, a bridge on the same road was reconstructed.
Murmansk governor Marina Kovtun says her government has initiated a process aimed at transferring the road from regional to federal authorities. When the road gets federal status, additional cash to upgrade will be easier to get.
A record high of 128,000 border-crossings were counted in 2012 at the Lotta, Raja-Joosepi check-point. That is up 36 percent from 2011.
The two other roads connecting Murmansk region with neighboring countries, the E105 towards Norway and the road towards Salla, are also both under upgrade. It was back in 2009 that then-Governor Dmitri Dmitrienko stated that construction of modern roads towards Murmansk’s external borders was a top priotiry.
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The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.