The last running railway line between the European continent and Russia has come to an end. The symbol is so strong that this line lasted during the Cold War.
Sunday evening at 7:07 p.m. The Alegro train enters the central station of the Finnish capital, and ends the last active railway line between Russia and the European Union, a month after the invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow.
Twelve years after the first voyage of this modern train with Vladimir Putin, traffic between St. Petersburg and Helsinki has been disrupted since this Monday, symbolizing the renewal of Euro-Russian relations. Cold War.
“Now I have my cats back, I have no reason to come back, I have everything I have most precious,” Muscovite Alex, who lives in Helsinki, told AFP., Who came down with a box. His two cats. Behind that young man with the most recognizable blue hair, people on stage, pulling big suitcases, some kids.
After air traffic was halted following European sanctions, the Finnish government initially decided to open the route, creating a rare aircraft, especially for Russians seeking to return home or leave their country for Europe. But the national agency VR announced on Friday that the merger would be terminated after the weekend, at the request of Finnish officials, in deference to sanctions.
As a precaution, the Russian citizens questioned on the ship did not want to give their family names, while Vladimir Putin slammed the “traitors” who left Russia during the war. “I do not know how to return to Moscow, let’s see how this situation can be solved,” explains Ivan, a Russian student at Moscow University, who left with his parents for the Easter holidays. In Portugal, with his mother.
His exams are yet to take place in a few weeks. “The situation in Russia has become very complicated,” the young man with the thin mustache, covering his face, avoids. Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine and the end of air links, the Alegro train has suddenly experienced congestion and nearly 700 passengers use it for two daily trips daily.
Cold War trains
This is when the conditions for boarding are very low: you must be a Finnish citizen, or a Russian citizen but with a valid Schengen visa and an EU-approved anti-Govt vaccine – so not the majority Sputnik in Russia. .
Although some say they plan to travel without planning a return, most Russian travelers are already practical people living, working or studying in Europe. In collaboration with the Finnish and Russian National Railways since December 2010, the white Alecro trains manufactured by the French team Alstom became a symbol of the Finnish-Russian partnership.
During his first visit to Vladimir Putin, he traveled with then-Finnish President Dorje Hollande on a journey of about 400 kilometers across the border – several stops in three and a half hours. Alia, a Russian working in Helsinki, who often visits family and friends in St. Petersburg, told AFP “I hope it returns to normal very soon.”
With short hair and thin glasses in the fifties she thinks the end of the service will complicate her life “but people will find a way to travel one way or another”. The land border crossings between Russia and Finland remain open. However, the line stop is heavy with the index. Even during the Cold War, a night train ran through the Iron Curtain between Helsinki and Russia. Alegro and its high-speed trains were taken from older models.
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