The region’s population and economic activity are concentrated around a few major centres, which are far apart and poorly linked each other. The existing transport infrastructure and services are not adequate for integrating the dispersed regional structure and for sustaining and developing local and regional economies, social services and social contacts.
National borders have resulted in separate, national transport systems operating in parallel. Almost all infrastructures have been built to link each country’s northern and southern regions with its national capital. This creates a strongly isolating frontier effect. Current national transport programmes are not yet co-ordinated with neighbouring countries and bottlenecks continue to arise at the borders.
Oiltanker Belokamenka, photo by Thomas Nilsen.