VR Group's actions due to the Russian attack on Ukraine
The CEO of VR Group has sent a letter to the President of Russian Railways informing of the end of communication between the companies, excluding the necessary communication required for cross-border traffic. VR Group has also decided on measures to express support to Ukraine and the Ukrainians in response to Russian attack. As from now passengers with a Ukrainian passport can travel free of charge on VR Group trains in Finland.
Communication ends with Russian Railways
On March 1st, 2022, Lauri Sipponen, CEO of VR Group, has informed Oleg Belozorov, President and CEO of Russian Railways, of VR Group's decision to refrain from any communication other than the necessary communication with Russian Railways required for cross-border traffic. The decision stems from the Russian attack on Ukraine. This decision shall remain in force until further notice.
VR Group provides return traffic from Russia
Passenger traffic on the Allegro train will continue at the request of the Finnish authorities until further notice. Traffic is provided to ensure that Finnish nationals can return to Finland. Also, Russian nationals wanting to leave their home country are able to depart from Russia. In accordance with the current Russian state decree, the Allegro train can only be used by nationals of Finland and Russia until further notice. This procedure is based on a practice implemented during the pandemic. Negotiations are under way to apply the above-mentioned practice to nationals of all EU and third countries.
– VR Group wants to show Ukraine and the Ukrainians its strong support in this shocking situation caused by the Russian attack. As a state-owned company, we want to ensure that our nationals can have the opportunity to return home from Russia. Allegro train is almost the only outward connection for those Russians, who are leaving their home country. In addition, we would like to offer other EU and third-country nationals a connection out of Russia in the near future," says CEO Lauri Sipponen.
Passenger train traffic to and from Russia will continue until the authorities conclude otherwise. The continuation of traffic is a decision made by both the European Union and the Finnish government. VR Group, as a state-owned company, follows the policies of the authorities.
The Allegro train service has been discontinued from Monday, March 28th.
All Ukrainians can travel free of charge upon presentation of a Ukrainian passport on board of VR in Finland
VR Group wants to enable Ukrainians living in Finland and potential refugees to meet with each other under these circumstances. Ukrainians will be able to travel on all trains free of charge by showing passports to the train conductor beginning from March 2nd 2022 onwards.
The clock tower of Helsinki Central Railway Station will be illuminated in Ukrainian national colors
VR Group will illuminate the clock tower of Helsinki Central Railway Station in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and the Ukrainian flag will also be raised on the station's flagpole from Thursday, March 3rd 2022. With these measures, the company wants to show its support for Ukraine at the time of war.
The text has been updated on March 29th with regard to Allegro traffic and the right of Ukrainians to travel.
The text has been updated on April 28th & 30 May with regard to the right of Ukrainians to travel.
The text has been updated on August 29th with regard to the right of Ukrainians to travel.
The text has been updated Oct 28 with regard to the right of Ukrainians to travel. Ukrainians can travel on all VR's long-distance and commuter trains free of charge by showing passports to the train conductor. The procedure is valid for the time being. On HSL's trains the right of Ukrainians to travel free of charge ends on Nov 1 2022.