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I wonder if there's still a way of getting into mainland Russia (not the Kaliningrad exclave) from the EU by rail.

  • Travelling via Ukraine is out of question due to multiple reasons.
  • Travelling via Belarus is out of question, because 3rd party nationals are not allowed to cross the Belarus-Russia land border (that means by train, car, bus or on foot; flying from Minsk to Moscow is okay for foreigners since May 2017).
  • AFAIK, services from Finland have been suspended.

How about Estonia and Latvia? Are there any passenger rail services crossing the border into Russia?

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    @xngtng Unfortunately it's very true and confirmed by multiple sources: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belarus%E2%80%93Russia_border In short, the Union State of Russia and Belarus is like a Schengen Area, in which only its citizens can move freely, foreigners are confined to one single member country... Dec 16, 2022 at 9:46
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    Here's another source: tripadvisor.com/… If you have opposite information, please go ahead! I'd be very happy to hear that this weird situation has been resolved. Dec 16, 2022 at 9:53
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    Aha, russianrail.com/news/crossing-russia---belarus-border-by-train it did change after 2016/7. Although I guess in practice the checks are random and migration cards by Belarus is usually recognized in Russia, but indeed technically illegal. It is legal in the other direction with trains (but not cars), as Belarus registration authorities usually accept rail tickets as proof of entry.
    – xngtng
    Dec 16, 2022 at 10:19
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    @gerrit I've read many stories about foreigners who successfully entered Russia from Belarus overland, especially by train, but I can't find any official source stating that this is allowed. On the other hand, I found several official sources stating that this is not allowed and that perpetrators could face punishment: gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia/entry-requirements Feb 22, 2023 at 9:40
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    @Johnnyjanko It has always worked for direct trains from the EU to Russia, and the linked gov.uk page says "contact your train or tour operator"; at the time I received a Belarus transit visa and Russian tourist visa from the same tour operator, who confirmed this is allowed for direct tains. There are no such trains at the moment, so the question is moot. I also wonder how the Russia-Belarus visa union affects things — the gov.uk page does not seem to consider this information yet.
    – gerrit
    Feb 22, 2023 at 11:39

1 Answer 1

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No. Some train services were already suspended because of covid related travel restrictions and the few still operating services (e.g. from Helsinki to St. Petersburg) were suspended because of the war. Not necessarily because land travel is prohibited, but due to lack of demand.

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  • On a side note, are there nowadays any passenger rail services between Poland and Belarus? I can't find any in the European railway timetables. Dec 16, 2022 at 12:09
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    It's not lack of demand (quite the opposite), it was a request of the Finnish government yle.fi/a/3-12375838
    – jcaron
    Dec 16, 2022 at 12:51
  • @Johnnyjanko No, there aren't.
    – gerrit
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:20

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