Russia announces stricter entry rules as new Iron Curtain looms

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

The Russian foreign minister says a draft presidential decree is being made aimed at restricting entry rules for people from “unfriendly states”.

Travel across northern borders will become even more difficult as Russia today announced the introduction of retaliatory visa measures.

“This act will introduce a number of restrictions on entry into the territory of Russia,” Sergey Lavrov said in a speech broadcasted by state-owned TV channel Rossiya-24.

The new rules are a retaliatory move in response to other countries’ unfriendly actions, the minister said.

Less visas will be issued from Russia’s Consulate General in Kirkenes, northern Norway. Photo of an anti-war protest the day after Putin’s troops invaded Ukraine. (Photo: Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

A presidential decree is now being made to amend the law on visa and entry regulations. The new restriction will apply to citizens from Russia’s list of “unfriendly states”, Lavrov said.

For now, the list includes Norway, Iceland, the United States and Canada, the EU states, the UK, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Albania, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, North Macedonia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.

There are already entry restrictions on Russia’s land borders to Europe and all flights between EU countries (including Norway and Iceland) and Russia are suspended. On Sunday, the last Allegro train left St. Petersburg for Helsinki.

The nearest open gateways for Russians and Europeans to travel between each other today are via the airports in Belgrade or Istanbul, if not flying via the Middle East or Central, South, or East Asia.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Russian invasion of Ukraine puts ‘more attention onto the needs of the Arctic’, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s NATO membership decision needs more time, says PM, Yle News

Norway: Nordic countries halt all regional cooperation with Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: A wave of war propaganda is gushing over Russian youth, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: More than 2,300 Swedish and Finnish troops advance into Northern Norway to join NATO drills Cold Response, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: U.S. Army unveils Arctic strategy as relations with Russia plunge into deep freeze, Radio Canada International

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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