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Finnish-Russian Border Area- 2006-09-16

All text and photographs Copyright © 2006, Hugh Wallis - All Rights Reserved

As part of a quick visit to Finland I decided to investigate the area near the Russian border and to see how close I could get. Because Finland has established a "Border Zone" varying in width to a maximum of 3km along the Russian border, the closest I could manage was approximately 200m in the town of Nuijamaa. This town is a busy border crossing sporting, as I discovered, a very new crossing facility - at least on the Finnish side. It was a Saturday afternoon and the queue of trucks waiting to cross the border into Russia stretched most of the way back to Lappeenranta, for a distance of at least 10km, probably more. I wondered how long it would take to reach the head of the queue and get across the border into Russia. Cars did not appear to have to queue up and, on my way back to Helsinki, I noticed a considerable number of cars with Russian registration plates heading west.

The following are just a few photographs that I took which may be of interest. Click on the thumbnails for a full size picture.

First spot I checked was about 14km SE of Joutseno where I was able to get to within about 500m of the border. I was not able to see the border itself since it was over the brow of a hill

These signs were everywhere - it would be hard to miss them and claim you hadn't seen them
And this made the rules quite clear in a number of languages

Then I went into the town of Nuijamaa, about 25km SW of here where I was able to get much closer.

This is as far as I could go on the road that led down to the old border crossing. It was pretty quiet around here.
You can see the observation cameras down the road. The tress in the distance are, by my estimation, in Russia. From my map I would say that I was approximately 250m from the border.
Zooming in for a better view
Going a bit further west this was the closest I could get - about 200m from the border.
Zoomed in for a closer look.
On my way back out of the town this is looking back at the new border crossing facility. I am a good 1.5km from the border at this point.