NewsNorway closes last border crossing for Russian tourists

Norway closes last border crossing for Russian tourists

Norway closes its border with Russia
Norway closes its border with Russia
Images source: © Getty Images | STUART FRANKLIN

9:07 AM EDT, May 23, 2024

On May 29, Norway is closing its borders to Russian citizens. The decision is justified by the increasing risk of sabotage and terrorist attacks from Moscow.

After the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Norway significantly limited Russian entry into the country. The only land border crossing remaining open for Russians (holding a visa) allowing entry into the Schengen area is Norwegian Storskog.

Norwegian authorities announced that, starting May 29, all Russian citizens whose aim is tourism or "other non-essential travel" will be turned back at the border. The ministry indicated that only exceptional cases will be respected, such as adequately documented visits to immediate family living in Norway.

The decision to tighten the entry rules is in line with the Norwegian approach of standing by allies and partners in reaction to Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine – stated Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl in a statement.

Deportation of Russian citizens from Norway

Norwegian police will gain new powers in connection with the border closure for Russian citizens. From May 29, officers can refuse entry to Russian citizens.

They will be deported if they attempt to cross the border. This applies both for the Storskog border checkpoint and at Norway’s external border in general – said Minister Mehl to the VG newspaper.

Norwegian services—the Police Security Service (PST) and the Intelligence Service (NIS)—report receiving numerous signals regarding possible acts of sabotage and terror in western Norway. As a result, authorities decided to tighten borders.

Russia's reaction to the Norwegian government's decision

Moscow's reaction did not take long. Dmitry Peskov has already commented on the matter. The Kremlin spokesman said that "such decisions cannot remain unanswered."

The last Norwegian border crossing to the Schengen area will be closed to Russians

Norway's border with Russia is 122 miles long. Although this Scandinavian country is not part of the European Union, it is a member of the Schengen area (an area of 29 countries where border controls have been abolished). As a result, Russians who cross the border at Storskog can theoretically move around the entire EU. However, starting May 29, the Russians will not have this possibility.

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