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Nearly 2,000 trucks are stuck in a miles-long queue at a border crossing between Latvia and Russia
Nearly 2,000 trucks are stuck in a miles-long queue at a border crossing between Latvia and Russia, an absolute record in the history of traffic jams that periodically afflict the frontier between the two former Soviet neighbors, a spokesman for the Latvian border guards said Wednesday. There are currently 1,900 trucks idling at the Terehovo-Burachki checkpoint, and a further 400 waiting in line at the Grebnevo-Ubilinka crossing, the spokesman said. Massive backups of truck traffic began in August of last year, as tensions between Russia and Latvia intensified over a variety of issues, including a contentious border treaty involving territory claimed by both sides, and trucks crossing the frontier became subject to greater scrutiny. Belarus has also been blamed for some of the delays after it introduced seasonal limitations on truck weight last April, forcing commercial vehicles that normally traveled through the country to be rerouted through Latvia. Strict customs regulations have also encouraged truckers to avoid Belarus. Talks involving the transportation ministries of the two countries to expand existing border crossing points and open new ones have not produced noticeable results yet, and truckers from both countries often find themselves stuck in line for days. The Burachki border crossing was opened in 1996, with a design capacity of 150-170 trucks per day. Since then, traffic has increased 435% and delays have become routine.
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