This is nearly 68,000 more crossings than in 2012.
Russians made up for most of the traffic, with 239,000 border crossings, the latest statistics from the Eastern Finnmark Police Department show.
The number of Norwegians traveling to Russia via Storskog has gone considerably up the last year. 58.446 Norwegians crossed the border in 2013 – more than 50 percent more than in 2012. The main reason for the increased Norwegian traffic is the system of visa-free travel for border citizens, which was introduced in May 2012.
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. Russia in November 2013 announced a €26 million funding planfor a brand new check-point at Borisoglebsk.Norwegian authorities, on the other hand, have for years been discussing how to find funding for a new border check-point on the Norwegian side of the border.
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.