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Finns seek cheap petrol in Russia as border reopens

The war has not deterred drivers trying to steer clear of soaring fuel prices in Finland.

Refuelling in Russia is up to three times cheaper than in Finland at the moment. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The reopening of the border between Russia and Finland on 1 July has seen a resurgence in Finns' refuelling trips to the eastern neighbour.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has not deterred drivers seeking cheaper petrol and diesel as fuel prices have soared well over 2 euros per litre in the past year.

The average price per litre in Finland is up to three times higher than that in Russia.

"It is such a good deal considering current petrol and diesel prices. We have two cars in our family. We can now put the money we save towards some kind of trip," eastern border resident Mirva Sukhanov told Yle after visiting neighbouring Svetogorsk.

Sukhanov is the founder of a Facebook group where users can share tips and other information relating to refuelling trips to Russia. The group has become active again after a hiatus caused by the pandemic and war in Ukraine, according to Sukhanov.

Travellers into Russia are still required to provide Covid documentation, however Russian authorities announced they will be lifting all remaining coronavirus-related entry restrictions on 15 July.

Despite sanctions imposed as a result of the war in Ukraine, Russians can also travel to Finland. As of 1 July, international arrivals are no longer required to provide Covid documentation upon entry.