Norway says will close border to Russia tourists

Norway says will close border to Russia tourists

/ 03:47 PM May 23, 2024

Norway says will close border to Russia tourists

A road sign reads ‘Kirkenes’ in both Norwegian and Russian (Cyrillic) in Kirkenes, Norway on July 6, 2023. On the Pasvik River, Norwegian soldiers guard NATO’s northernmost border, the only one still officially open between Russia and Europe. Agence France-Presse

OSLO — Norway said on Thursday that it will close its border to Russian tourists, shutting their last direct access to Europe’s border-free Schengen area.

As of May 29, most Russian tourists will not be able to enter Norway, which shares a 198-kilometer (123-mile) border with Russia in the Arctic, the government said in a statement.


“The decision to tighten the entry rules are in line with the Norwegian approach of standing by allies and partners in the reactions against Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine,” Minister of Justice and Public Security, Emilie Enger Mehl, said in the statement.


READ: Russia adds Norway to list of countries ‘unfriendly’ to its diplomats

Norway, a member of NATO but not of the EU, stopped issuing most tourist visas to Russians in spring 2022, after Moscow invaded Ukraine.

But holders of long-term visas that had been issued before or those who had visas from other Schengen member countries could still cross via the Storskog-Boris Gleb border crossing, the only one between the neighbors.

READ: On Norway’s Arctic border with Russia, a town freezes ties with its eastern neighbor

From May 29, they will no longer be able to do so, the statement said.

Exceptions will be made for work and study, and those visiting close family residing in Norway.


Although not a member of the European Union, Norway works closely with the bloc, which had already adopted similar measures toward Russians in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Schengen border-free area includes most European countries and allows people to travel freely within its borders.

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TAGS: Norway, Russia

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