Norway’s not-so-level crossing with Russia

Norway's not-so-level crossing with Russia

NORWEGIAN BORDER: Russia isn’t so far away Photo credit: CC/JIP

The Oslo government’s stricter controls over its border with Russia has generally been welcomed by Norway’s population.

In contrast, Russia maintained that tightening up the border crossing for all those lacking “a necessary or important” motive for entering Norway was “discriminatory.”

Although the stringent rules are not directed specifically at them, they will have most impact on Russian tourists who enter Norway via the border east of Kirkenes, from where they usually travel to other European destinations.

In fact the authorities wish to prevent potential spies from entering and collecting information about Norwegian infrastructure.

Frode Berg, a former border official who was imprisoned in Russia for spying, told the Aftenposten newspaper that he believed Russian agents have been infiltrating Norway’s businesses, universities and civic organisations “for years.”

Berg, who admitted acting as a courier for Norway’s military intelligence, was arrested when visiting Moscow in 2017 and released after spending 23 months in prison.  He has now returned to his Kirkenes home.

He fully supported closing Norway’s borders to Russian tourists, Berg said: “It’s about time the Norwegian government tightened border controls.”

In the past residents on both sides of the border could move freely between both countries, but friction with Russia has increased since the Ukraine invasion in February 2022.

Meanwhile, entry will still be allowed for those with residence permits on both sides of the border as well as Russian citizens who study or work in Norway or Schengen countries which allow free movement over borders.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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