Russia Extends Saimaa Canal Lease

1 June 2010 (Last Updated June 1st, 2010 18:30)

Finland will continue to use the Saimaa Canal for imports and exports for the next 50 years after Russia renewed the country's lease. Under the agreement, Finland will continue to use the 43km canal for a yearly rent of €1.2m ($1.5m), up fourfold from €300,000. The annual char

Finland will continue to use the Saimaa Canal for imports and exports for the next 50 years after Russia renewed the country’s lease.

Under the agreement, Finland will continue to use the 43km canal for a yearly rent of €1.2m ($1.5m), up fourfold from €300,000.

The annual charge may rise depending on the number of passing ships, according to themoscowtimes.com.

The current contract to use the canal, which runs from the city of Lappeenranta in south-western Finland to Vyborg in Russia, expires in 2013.

The Finnish Government said the agreement expands the usage of the route by allowing passenger vessels from other countries to navigate through the waterway.

Finnish vessels operating on the canal carry about two million tons of cargo every year.