14 Dec 2023 22:11

Bus company Lux Express to again halt bus services between Russia, Finland

ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 14 (Interfax) - The bus operator Lux Express will once again suspend services connecting Russia and Finland, Natalia Arefyeva, chief executive at Eurolines, the Russian office of Lux Express, told Interfax.

"We are temporarily suspending services until January 14, 2024, the date that the Finnish government has stated regarding the closure of border crossings. Two departures by Lux Express in each direction are due at 06:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. on December 15 from St. Petersburg and at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Helsinki. Night departures, at 9:30 p.m. from Helsinki and at 11:30 p.m. from St. Petersburg, have already been cancelled," Arefyeva said.

Passengers with tickets valid for trips due to take place on later dates may change them for different destinations, claim a compensation voucher or a free bus trip, or a refund, she said.

Earlier on Thursday, the bus operator Ecolines announced the temporary suspension of its services between Russia and Finland.

As reported previously, Finland, under a government decision, opened two out of eight passenger crossings at the Russian-Finnish border on Thursday; specifically, Vaalimaa and Niirala. Bloomberg later said citing Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen that the Finnish authorities would close the Russian border starting Friday and until January 14 in view of asylum seekers arriving at the border.

In November, Finland shut down all of its eight border crossings with Russia for passengers, arguing that the Russian side had allegedly organized border clearance for large numbers of migrants from third countries.

Lux Express operates in six countries, providing bus services on more than 20 routes. In Russia, the company operates bus trips from St. Petersburg to Helsinki, Latvia's Riga, and Estonia's Tallinn.