Russia’s Kola Peninsula has two border-crossing checkpoints to Finnish Lapland. Both checkpoints had a sharp increase in traffic last year, a peak that even sharper over the three first months this year. At Salla checkpoint, 88.255 border-crossings where counted, up 40 percent compared with the same period 2011. At Raja Jooseppi the increase was 39 percent, reports the Finnish border guards.
The majority of border-crossers are Russians, counting at 91 percent at Raja-Jooseppi.
The border guard service in Lapland expects near 300.000 border-crossings this year. And the interests among Murmanskers to visit Finland support the estimation. The Murmansk office of the Finnish Consulate issued 7.118 visas in January and February, up 71 percent compared with the same period in 2011.