Russia, Norway border traffic up 18%

Storskog checkpoint. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Stronger ruble gives boost to cross-border shopping.

20,640 border crossings were counted at Storskog checkpoint in February, up 18,3% from the same month 2016, a leap year with one more day.

This is the seventh month in a row with increase in border traffic between Russia and Norway. The current rise in border crossings follows a two and a half year with decline from January 2014 til July 2016.

Head of Police at Storskog checkpoint, Stein Kristian Hansen, writes in an email that the increase counts for all kinds of travelers, especially people with visa, but also Norwegians and Russians traveling without visa under the special regime designed for citizens living less than 30 kilometers from the border line on each side. That includes the towns of Nikes, Zapolyarny and Kirkenes.

Saturday traffic

Russian ruble has gained value against the kroner in what gives a boost to cross-border shopping. Especially on Saturdays and other days off in Russia, cars are lined up at Storskog checkpoint.

The February increase in border crossings is twice the 9,3% growth seen in January.

Peak month was December 2013, with 33,099 border crossings counted.

Visiting the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes in February, Foreign Minister Børge Brende and Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner said nothing is yet decided regarding the long-awaitied and highly needed new border checkpoint. The current buildings and infrastructure are from the early 1990 when traffic was one-third of today.

Related stories from around the North:

Finland:  More guards with broader powers needed on the borders : Finland’s interior minister, Yle News

Norway:  Refugees find Arctic gate to Schengen, Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden faces criticism over border controls, Radio Sweden

Russia:  Migrants still try to make it from Russia to Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: No, CNN, US Marines do not train on Norwegian-Russian border, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *