Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Finland’s national rail operator VR Group reportedly stated that the country has seized hundreds of freight cars linked to Russian firms in line with European Union (EU) sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia’s military incursion against Ukraine.

A total of 865 rail cars from Russia have been confiscated by the Finnish bailiff authority as per Russian Railways’ letter to the Ministry of Transport, reported Reuters.

Finnish bailiff authority has seized €82m worth of assets of several Russian and Belarusian individuals and legal entities, while include transportation companies.

VR spokeswoman Taina Kuitunen was quoted by the news agency as saying that currently there were “around 800 units of sanctioned (freight) cars in Finland”. The firm plans to hand over the non-seized cars to Russia soon.

The detained rail cars are owned by firms, which have been directly sanctioned by the EU or whose shareholders ceded control after being sanctioned in the light of the Ukraine conflict. These firms include Uralchem-Trans, GTLK, Rusagrotrans, and Alpha Leasing.

Alpha Leasing has appealed to a Finnish court against the “unlawful” move by Finnish bailiffs, stated the firm’s corporate business head Andrey Barkov.

This year in March, VR Group halted services between Helsinki, Finland, and St Petersburg, Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The company suspended the Allegro train service to St Petersburg, as well as discontinued freight wagon traffic from Russia.

Later the same month, the operator resumed VR Transpoint’s eastern freight traffic to Russia.