Development and renovation of the Vartius border crossing point
In the development project of the Vartius border crossing point in Kuhmo, track structures were improved and road traffic conditions developed by new lane arrangements, for example. In addition, buildings were renovated at the border crossing point. The project, completed in November 2021, was funded from the Karelia CBC programme.
Background to the project
The Vartius border control station is an international border crossing point for road and rail transport between Finland and Russia. It is located 65 km northeast of Kuhmo town centre, and it is responsible for the maintenance of border security and performance of other statutory border control tasks within its area of operation. The Vartius border control station is responsible for the control of 22.1 km of Finland's eastern border, which also serves as the European Union’s external border.
Vartius became an international border crossing point after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. The main road 89 and the Kontiomäki–Kostamus railway pass through the crossing point. The railway station at Vartius operates as a delivery and reception station for interconnected rail traffic.
On the Russian side, the Vartius border crossing point is called Lyttä (Люття, Ljuttja in Russian)/Kivijärvi. In 2019, the Vartius border crossing point recorded 383,000 border crossings.
Costs and funding
The budget of the development project was EUR 8.15 million, of which EUR 6.41 million was covered by the grant from the Karelia CBC programme.
Objectives of the project
In the development project of the Vartius border crossing point, track structures were improved at the border and in Ypykkävaara and road traffic conditions developed by new lane arrangements, for example. In addition, buildings were renovated at the border crossing point.
The working conditions of the Border Guard and Customs staff and the service facilities for passengers were also modernized, and the X-ray scanning equipment was upgraded.
The partners in the project were the FTIA, the ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, the Finnish Border Guard, the Customs, Senate Properties, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority and Fintraffic.
Progress of project
The Kuhmo Vartius border crossing point development project, started in 2019, was completed in November 2021. The project improved the capacity of rail transport and developed road transport conditions to meet current needs. The customs and border station building at the border crossing point was also renovated.
The track superstructure and electrical and safety equipment works related to the extension of the yards were completed in autumn 2021. In addition, the Customs will introduce a new train identification system at Vartius, which will enhance the control of rail freight traffic.
The Karelia CBC is a cross-border cooperation programme aimed at promoting the attractiveness of the region. The programme is funded by the European Union and Finland.