More than a quarter of a million border-crossings took place on the border between the Kola Peninsula and neighboring Finnmark in 2012. That is up more than 57,000 - the highest year on year increase on record.
Christmas shopping in the border town of Kirkenes is the main reason for the boom in December when 29,737 border crossings were counted at Storskog, Borisoglebsk check-point, Russia’s northernmost land border to Western Europe. That is by far the highest number in a single month period.
Many of the shops in Kirkenes have designed their assortment for Russian customers. In the days before Christmas, Russian language was more common than Norwegian at the counter desks. The seasonal visitors to Norway continue to grow in early January. With New Year holidays in Russia and New Year’s sales in the shops on the Norwegian side, the traffic has shot up.
Nearly 30,000 more vehicles crossed the border last year compared with 2011. From being a border nearly without a single car crossing during the Cold War, the 93,977 vehicles counted in 2012 shows the popularity among normal citizens to explore the other side. The increased car traffic includes the growing number of Norwegians that since June have been allowed to cross into the first 30 kilometers on the Russian side of the border without holding a visa. The majority go for cheap petrol in Nikel, the nearest Russian town.
The deal on visa-free travel for inhabitants living less than 30 kilometers from the actual border entered force in late May last year. Some 15,000 of last year’s border crossings were made by people traveling without visa.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.