Murmansk had the sharpest increase among all Finnish visa-offices in Russia last year with a 37 percent growth. 63,488 visas were issued by Finland’s Consulate branch-office, up from 46,364 the previous year. In Petrozavodsk, the Karelian capital, the increase was 11,000 visas to 84,884, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Finland’s four missions in Russia processed a total of 1,324,680 visas, a number that counts for 95 percent of all visas issued to Finland world-wide in 2012. The visa-processing office in St. Petersburg alone issued for the first time last year more than one million visas.
Also the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk received a record high number of Schengen-visas applications last year, in total 23,300. That is 3,300 more than in 2011. While a Schengen-visa to Finland is valued for a year, more and more of the visas issued by Norway in Barents Russia is valid for multiple years. First time applicants from Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Oblasts receive a one-year valid visa, and then followed by three-years valid and steps up to a maximum of five-year valid period in the end.
“70 percent of the applicants in the period from January to October last year got multiple-entry visas to Norway,” says head of the visa-section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk Marit Egholm Jacobsen to BarentsObserver.
“We do not expect a sharp increase in applications this year, due to the fact that more and more of the visas we issue are valid for multiple years,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen.
A growing number of applicants come from Arkhangelsk where Norway has an Honorable Consul office. The office got 1,751 applications last year, up from 1,295 in 2011. This applications are handeled at the Consulate General in St. Petersburg and comes in addition to the increase in Murmansk.
Norway will next week open a new visa application centre in Murmansk in order to provide better services and longer opening ours for the customers.
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.