15 Jan 2024 18:37

Ecolines to start daily bus services between Russia, Latvia in Feb

ST. PETERSBURG. Jan 15 (Interfax) - The international intercity bus carrier Ecolines is preparing to launch two direct daily rides between Russia's St. Petersburg and Latvia's Riga starting February 1, Ecolines said in a statement.

"Ecolines starts regular services on the St. Petersburg-Pskov-Riga route on February 1. Buses will depart every day from St. Petersburg at 10:20 p.m. and from Riga at 8:00 p.m.," it said.

It said passengers who have bought tickets for the cancelled trips from St. Petersburg to Helsinki and from Helsinki to St. Petersburg could change them for tickets to Latvia.

According to the Ecolines website, the service currently carries passengers between St. Petersburg and Riga only with a transfer.

The Finnish government decided in November 2023 to close all eight checkpoints on the eastern border, citing a mass influx of migrants from third countries. Finland reopened the Vaalimaa and Niirala border crossings on December 14, 2023 but then decided the same day to close them again for one month. On January 11, 2024, the Finnish government extended the closure of the border with Russia for another month.

Ecolines is a major intercity bus service operating in about 200 cities in 21 countries.