“I think this is really positive”, says Chief of Police in Eastern Finnmark Police District, Ellen Kathrine Hætta to NRK. “It’s good that there is so much interaction across the border and that people doesn’t see the border as a barrier”.
Hætta believes the number of border-crossers can reach 330.00 before the end of the year.
Most people cross the border to do shopping in the neighboring country. Many Russians are also using Kirkenes airport when leaving for holidays in Europe.
The existing border-crossing station is dimensioned for 150.000 passengers annually, so cars and people are queuing up on the busiest days. The Chief of Police is impatiently waiting for Norwegian authorities to make a decision on when to build a new station.
While Norwegian authorities for years have been discussing how to find funding for a new border check-point at Storskog, Russia last month announced a €26 million funding planfor a brand new check-point at Borisoglebsk.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.