Number of people crossing Russian-Estonian border grows significantly
The number of people and vehicles crossing the Russian-Estonian border at the checkpoint in Koidula in southeastern Estonia has grown significantly this year, with a couple thousand more people and cars making the crossing in the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago, regional newspaper Võrumaa Teataja reported.
The chief officer of the Koidula road checkpoint, Tõnu Reinup, said the increase was remarkable first and foremost when it comes to tourists and cars.
Even though the exchange rate of the ruble is not the most favorable for Russians coming here, tourists still travel here, and there are still people who come to buy goods, albeit in smaller amounts than this used to be the case earlier, Reinup said.
The number of crossings varies depending on the day of the week, and the number of crossings by trailer trucks transporting cars is smaller than usual.
“One of the reasons is probably the long summer holidays in Germany,” Reinup added.
He said that where in 2014, fuel and cigarettes had been taken across the border in large amounts, the number of border crossings declined substantially after restrictions were imposed on the amount of excise goods that can be taken across the border. Where in June 2014, 38,703 people crossed, in June 2015 the number was only 29,903. This year, 32,038 people crossed the border at Koidula in June.
Figures for the second quarter show that 81,766 people crossed the border at Koidula in the second quarter of 2015 and 83,631 in the second quarter this year. The number of vehicle crossings was 33,752 in April-June 2015 and 35,983 this year.