The Ministry of Transport and Communications' main objectives in cooperation with Russia are:
Cooperation between the Ministry of Transport and Communications and Russia is bilateral, but also involves EU-level cooperation. The Finnish and Russian Ministers of Transport and Communications meet annually.
In the sectors of transport and communications, Finland's objective in cooperation with Russia is to maintain good and open bilateral relations.
Transport cooperation between the two countries is based on intergovernmental treaties, which have been revised and brought up to date with current requirements, ensuring, for example, as level a playing field as possible for operators from both countries.
Finland's primary partners in Russia include the Russian Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, the Russian Federation authorities responsible for road, maritime, river and railway transport and aviation, and the Russian regional administrations. In the railway sector, Finland also collaborates with Russian Railways (RZhD).
Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications is actively involved in the work of the intergovernmental Finnish-Russian Commission for Economic Cooperation. Two working groups operate within the administration of the commission; the transportation working group (established in 1995) and the communications and IT working group (established in 2009). The communications and IT working group has actively begun to find answers to communications sector questions between the two countries, such as frequency bands.
In the field of transport, the two countries have cooperation bodies that are based on intergovernmental agreements; a joint commission on road transport between Finland and Russia, a joint commission on maritime transport, working groups on cooperation in the fields of aviation and railway traffic as well as a working group reviewing options for improving transport infrastructure at border crossing points.
An area of cooperation that is experiencing strong growth is transport telematics i.e. the industry related to development of intelligent transport. More attention will be focused on the opportunities this affords with regard to development of the border crossing process and services for passengers. In 2011, The Finnish and Russian Ministries of Transport initiated a joint programme for logistics and intelligent transport, the objective of which is to develop intelligent transport and logistics services between Finland and Russia and their compatibility in all forms of transportation.
The objective is to improve Finland's and Russia's cross-border traffic in the areas of road, railway and air traffic. It is important to ensure that the transport systems are compatible and travel across the border continues seamlessly. Cooperation aims to ensure traffic arrangements on the major routes that travel through border crossing points between the two countries. Maintenance and repair work along routes is prioritised in a way that ensures that those routes essential for the daily travel and transportation needs of people and businesses are kept functioning in a satisfactory manner. In accordance with traffic capacity and growth expectations at international border crossing points, the two countries have focused on ensuring that the largest border crossing points fulfil operational requirements with regard to road and railway traffic. Both short and long term estimates have predicted that cross-border traffic volume will grow in both cargo and passenger traffic.
The three most important international border crossing points between Finland and Russia, Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa and Imatra, are being developed so that they will have separate lanes for heavy vehicle and passenger transport, parking areas and truck lanes. Finland and Russia are working on developing the areas near the border between the countries. This cooperation is realised via Cross Border Cooperation (CBC), which is part of the ENPI neighbourhood programme between the EU and Russia, the purpose of which is to e.g. improve transport between countries.
The Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics, a cooperative programme between the EU, Russia and Norway, aims at improving logistics and transport connections in Northern Europe through various EU funding programmes The programme's objective is to improve the most important transport connections and logistics functions, to activate economic growth by focusing on both regionally and nationally prioritised projects, to support international trade by developing the most important international transport connections between partner countries and to coordinate cooperation in transport policy questions that are important to the region's development.
The Northern Dimension Partnership extends to the Barents Euro-Arctic transport region. The objective is to work together with neighbouring countries to develop transport routes in the Barents Region that are based on joint strategic viewpoints. This increases Finland's ability to have an impact on the development of transport connections between the east and the west.
In 2014-2015, Finland will chair the Barents Regional Council. In addition to Finland, council members include Norway, Sweden and Russia.
Communications cooperation between Finland and Russia has primarily been based on relationships between companies, but the State also plays a role in this collaboration. A key area of cooperation in the communications sector is the coordination and monitoring of frequency bands in the border zone. In the area of information technology, Russia has huge growth potential and Finnish IT expertise has the opportunity to gain more demand in the Russian market. Cooperation also takes place in the field of electronic services.