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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Slow Trade Prompts Finn Plea

HELSINKI, Finland -- Finnish Transport Minister Tuula Linnainmaa has appealed to her Russian counterpart to curb bureaucratic delays that are making Finnish cargo transport to and from Russia virtually impossible, the ministry said Friday.

Since the start of the year, Finnish truckers with oversized vehicles -- needed for key goods such as wood and food -- have not been able to get permits quickly. Transport has almost come to a halt, a ministry official said.

Russian authorities require original permits issued only in Moscow, but courier delivery takes two weeks.

"Nobody can wait that long," said director Harri Caven of the Transport Ministry. "This is a big delay causing losses in trade and traffic."

The ministry said in a statement that wood transport from the Vyborg area in the southeast had been completely halted for a couple of weeks.

Caven also said the permits system favored Russian trucks, which seemed to be moving normally.