Development and renovation of the Vartius border crossing point
The development project of the Vartius border crossing point in Kuhmo will improve the track structures, develop road traffic conditions by, for example, new lane arrangements, and renovate buildings at the border crossing point. The project, to be completed in 2021, is 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 is EUR 8.15 million, of which EUR 6.41 million is covered by the grant from the Karelia CBC programme.
Objectives of the project
The development project for the Vartius border crossing point will improve the track structures on the border and in Ypykkävaara, develop road traffic conditions by, for example, lane arrangements, and renovate buildings at the border crossing point.
The working conditions of the Border Guard and Customs staff and the service facilities for passengers will also be modernised, and the X-ray scanning equipment will be upgraded.
The partners in the project are the FTIA, the ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, the Finnish Border Guard, Customs, Senate Properties, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, the Directorate for Development of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Transport System, ITMF Oy and Finrail.
Progress of project
The Kuhmo Vartius border crossing point development project, which started in 2019, is being completed. 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 will be completed in October-November 2021. In addition, Vartius will also introduce Customs' new train identification system, which will enhance the control of freight traffic on the tracks.
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, Finland and Russia.