Drivers stuck in Russian-Latvian border jams

Four-day traffic jams have become the norm at the Russian-Latvian border. As trade between the two countries increases, outdated infrastructure struggles to cope. However, new investment is promised.

The turnover of goods between Russia and the EU is rising by 10-15 % annually, but customs capacity hasn't increased a jot.

Driver Yury made it to the Russian-Latvian border in just one day and spent the next three waiting in a multi-kilometre queue at

I congratulate Russia on Sochi's Olympic win in 2014. We are planning to start direct flights from Riga to Sochi in spring next year.

Ainars Slesers, Latvia's Transport Minister
the border crossing. These traffic jams began in August last year. A year later nothing has changed at the border crossings of Terekhovo and Grebnevo.

“An ambulance was called twice yesterday! Can you imagine it: unbearable heat, the traffic barely moving, and no place to have a shower. Most drivers just can't stand it,” Yury complains.

During the first sitting of the Russian-Latvian commission a number of measures were agreed in attempt to improve the situation.

A new motorway is to be built between Riga and Moscow as well as an additional border checkpoint.

The Latvians also acknowledged there's lack of air traffic to Russia. For now Latvian jets only fly to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

“I congratulate Russia on Sochi's Olympic win in 2014. We are planning to start direct flights from Riga to Sochi in spring next year,” Ainars Slesers, Latvia's transport Minister, says.

If the deal is struck the Latvian carrier airBaltic will become the first European airline to offer direct flights to the Olympic resort.