Peak in border crossings at Salla and Raja-Joosepin. Image: Rajavartiolaitos
Over 16,000 people crossed the border between Russia and Finland at Salla border crossing point in January. That is an increase of more than 6,000 people compared with January 2010, reads the statistics from the Finnish Border Guard.
Also at the northernmost border crossing point between Russia and Finnish Lapland, Lotta / Raja-Joosepin, had an increase in numbers of border crossers, up more than 1,000 compared with January 2010. The increase is however much less than at Salla.
The reason why more people prefer to use the Salla border crossing point instead of Lotta / Raja-Joosepin is because the road from Murmansk to the border is better towards Salla than towards Lotta. Also, more Murmanskers are driving to Rovaniemi for vacation and shopping than to much smaller Ivalo.
At the Norwegian-Russian border, Storskog / BorisGleb, the increase was 36 percent compared with January 2010. A total of 13,611 border crossings were counted, reports the Norwegian border officials.
More people from the Kola Peninsula cross the border to Finland. Photo: Thomas Nilsen