Murmansk-Norway border traffic suffers major drop

No line-up at the Storskog checkpoint, on the Norway-Russia border. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Russian New Year celebrations, which run until mid-January, are normally a busy time for cross-border shopping. Not so this year.

It has been many years since the decline in border-crossings has been more noteworthy than over the last month. By the end of January, Norwegian immigration officials had counted 18,610 border-crossings, down 30 percent from December’s 26,798.

Compared with January last year, the decline is 15%.

The first month of 2019 had the lowest number of people crossing the Russian-Norwegian border since February 2016, statistics sent to the Barents Observer by Finnmark police district shows.

2018 had a 10-year-low in number of Russians applying for a visa to Norway, as reported by the Barents Observer last week.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Fearing issues at U.S. border, Canada’s western Inuit put stop to cannabis sales in Arctic town, CBC News

Finland: Finland to upgrade Arctic border-crossing point to welcome more traffic from northern Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Sliding Russian ruble brings down cross-border traffic with Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Cross-border traffic drops between Russia and Arctic Europe, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s security service now screens all who apply for residency, Radio Sweden

United States: Why are people moving away from Alaska?, Alaska Public Media

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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