The small border between Norway and Russia all the way up in the high north has been Russia’s most stable border for the past 1,000 years. Now, that border may disappear, in a sense, as Norway and Russia consider doing away with visas for residents. Right before the annual meeting of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), which begins today, the Foreign Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre, noted that he hopes an agreement will be forthcoming later this year. The agreement would affect people living within 30 kilometers of the border: that is, 55,000 Russians and 9,000 Norwegians. The county of Finnmark in northern Norway is suffering from a lack of labor, and it is hoped that visa-free travel could help to shore up the labor deficit by allowing Russians to work.
“Agreement on visa-free border coming [ready] in 2010,” Barents Observer
“Grenseboerbevis i løpet av 2010,” Finnmarken (in Norwegian)
Visa-free zone in northern Norway and Russia?
“Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre”? Jonas Gahr Støre is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway. Too bad this was not caught before.
No, the border pass is still not in effect. Just another bit of information — most of the 55,000 Russian residents living in the 30km zone on the Russian side are military personnel so that limits the number of those who can travel across the border drastically as military personnel in Russia are not permitted to travel abroad without special dispensation.
Kind regards from this very border zone of which Mia Bennett writes,