Seized rail wagons will be returned to Russia
Railway traffic between Finland and Russia has reduced significantly because of Western sanctions on Russia, among other reasons. Some of the wagons used in the traffic between the two countries are subject to sanctions imposed by the EU and have therefore been seized in Finland. The wagons have remained under the control of the receiving railway undertakings (VR-Group Plc, Operail Finland Oy and Fenniarail Ltd). As the wagons cause significant costs for Finland and entail safety risks, they will be returned to Russia under an exemption from the sanctions.
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom and the railway undertakings filed a joint application to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for an exemption from the sanctions to return the wagons to Russia. The exemption was granted on 15 November 2022 based on the cost burden and safety risks the wagons cause for the Finnish railway system. The storage and monitoring of more than 800 wagons has taken resources from the railway undertakings and the authorities, and the wagons have taken up space on the railway network.
“The railway undertakings will make the necessary preparations for transferring the wagons to Russia without delay in accordance with the instructions provided by Traficom. Special attention will be paid to inspecting the condition of the wagons before moving them to ensure that the operation can be carried out safely,” says Kaisa Sainio, head of Rail Transport Services.