Norway resumes transportation of asylum seekers to Russia
Migrants who came to Norway from Russia across the border-crossing point at Storskog last autumn and winter, are now being sent to Moscow and St. Petersburg by plane.
Only people with a legal permit to stay in Russia are being sent back, Norwegian authorities say.
Norway wanted to send back as many as possible of the 5500 migrants that entered the country from Russia, but Russian authorities put the transportations on hold after only one bus with migrants had been sent from Kirkenes to Murmansk in January.
After succesful talks between Norwegian and Russian authorities, asylum seekers with residence permit or multi visas to Russia, are now being returned on commercial flights. In the beginning of February Russia agreed to receive between 200 and 300 people.
“We can confirm that the returns have been resumed, and that both Moscow and St. Petersburg are possible destinations,” communications adviser of the Police Migration Authority Tuva Otterlei Blikom says to NRK.
The police say to NRK that less than five persons have been sent back since the new agreement with Russia was signed.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Should Canada have a plan for climate refugees?, Radio Canada International
Finland: Asylum-seekers sign up for snow clearing in Finland, Yle News
Norway: Refugees find Arctic gate to Schengen, Barents Observer
Russia: Guest officers deployed at Russia-Finland Arctic border, The Independent Barents Observer