Since we reported on the Russia-Finland Free Visa issue, visitors to the Russian Federation via high speed rail have increased by 22 percent over the same period a year ago. According to the news, some 100,600 rail passengers traveled between Finland and Russia in the first quarter of 2011.
The door for visa-free travel between Russia and Finland was opened on Sunday as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Finnish President Tarja Halonen officially opened a high speed rail service between St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The two leaders seemed positive about at least limited free-visa travel between the two countries. A positive outcome for rail between the two could well speed EU and Russian Federation talks to open up travel to Russia.