Renovation of the Vartius border crossing point


This project was aimed at developing the Vartius border crossing point infrastructure, buildings, information systems and fluoroscope equipment. The project was part of the Karelia CBC programme. It was completed in 2022.

Project news

Background to the project

The Vartius Border Guard Station is an international border crossing point for road and rail transport between Finland and Russia. It is located 65 km northeast of Kuhmo town centre, and it is responsible for maintaining border security and other surveillance tasks within its area of operation. Under the station’s responsibility is 22.1 km of the eastern border of Finland, which also serves as the external border of the European Union.

Vartius became an international border crossing point after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992. Road 89 and the Kontiomäki–Kostamus railway pass through the crossing point. The railway station at Vartius operates as a delivery and reception station for rail interconnections.
The name of the border station on the Russian side is Lyttä. ( Люття/Ljuttja in Russian). Each year around 400 000 people cross the border at Vartius.

Project costs and funding

Karelia CBC programme was aimed at increasing the appeal of the region. The programme was funded by the European Union, Finland and Russia. The EU Commission approved funding for a total of six projects to improve the smoothness and security of border crossing points between Finland and Russia.
The budget for the development project was €8.15 million, of which €6.41 million was covered by the funding received.
The project was implemented within three years of the signing of the funding agreement, which took place on 1 January 2019.

Objectives of the project

The Vartius border crossing point development project involved improving rail structures at the border and in Ypykkävaara, developing road traffic conditions through measures such as new lane arrangements, and upgrading the buildings at the crossing point.
The working conditions of the Border Guard and Customs staff and the passengers’ service facilities have been modernized. The information systems and the fluoroscope equipment used by the authorities have been upgraded.
Participating in the project are Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA), the Northern Ostrobothnia ELY Centre, the Finnish Border Guard, Finnish Customs, Senate Properties, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, ITM Oy and Finrail Oy.

Progress of project

The track superstructure and electrical and safety equipment works related to the extension of the yards were completed in autumn 2021. In addition, the Customs introduced a new train identification system at Vartius, which will enhance the control of rail freight traffic. The project was be completed in 2022.

Karelia CBC programme is aimed at increasing the appeal of the region. The programme is co-funded by the European Union.


Karelia CBC

Programme Coordinator Niko Auer
tel. +358 40 685 4012

Senior Adviser Henna-Mari Laurila
tel. +358 50 9180 049

Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

Project Manager Jyri Mustonen
tel.  +358 29 534 3068