FINNISH TRUCKERS INDIGNANT OVER RUSSIAN CUSTOMS DEMAND ON OBLIGATORY CARGO ACCOMPANIMENT

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HELSINKI, September 30 (RIA Novosti's Olga Andrianova) - The Finnish authorities are negotiating over the Russian customs' demand concerning the procedure of cargo transportation across the Finnish-Russian border.

On Thursday Finland's Transport Ministry said that the Russian authorities demanded last week obligatory accompaniment of Finnish trucks from the border to the destination. Now, a Finnish truck has to be accompanied by a Russian supervising vehicle.

The Russian customs house motivates this by the loss of about 200 cargoes, as discovered during recent checks.

Finnish freight forwarders dislike the decision very much as greatly increasing their transportation charges. According to the Finnish Freight Forwarders Trade Union, accompanying a truck to St.Petersburg costs about 200 dollars and to Moscow about 500 dollars.

Finnish forwarders sent a letter to the Transport Ministry saying that the new demand impinges on their rights and is groundless. They also ask the ministry to settle the situation.

Finland's Transport Ministry has put the situation under control. The Finnish central and eastern customs departments are holding negotiations with the Russian side.

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