EUROPE: The Russian Railways board has given the go -ahead for a planned joint venture between its First Freight Company subsidiary and Finnish national railway VR.

An equally-owned joint-stock company is to be incorporated under Finnish law, and will be responsible for marketing and organising rail freight services between Russia and Finland. Its core business will be carrying paper from Finland to Russia, traffic forecast at 50 000 tonnes a year.

Announcing the go-ahead on August 11, RZD said the joint venture company may expand into other EU countries in the future.