“We need to find a flexible approach to the new rule,” says Rune Rafaelsen, head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, an organization that over the last 20 years has given grants to nearly 4,000 Russian, Norwegian people-to-people projects.
Rafaelsen fears the new rule demanding that everyone applying for visa to Russia have to turn up in person at the nearest Russian diplomatic mission to deliver their fingerprints could cause a massive backlash for the Barents cooperation.
“People living far away from Russia’s two diplomatic missions in Norway, in Kirkenes or Oslo, will then have to travel to give their fingerprints. That is expensive. Going from some place in Nordland to Kirkenes or Oslo could cost thousands of kroner in tickets,” says Rune Rafaelsen. He is afraid much of the people-to-people cooperation will stop.
Last year, around 30 football-players from Sortland traveled to their friendship town Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula. If all 30 of them first had to show up at the Russian Visa-centers in Oslo or Kirkenes to deliver their fingerprints, the extra costs would be more expensive than the actual football-tour itself. Sortland to Oslo is a distance of 1,385 kilometers by road. The distance to Kirkenes is 1,000 kilometers.
Today, you can send your passport and application papers by post to a tourist agency that handles the documents to the Russian consulate or visa-center.
It is the portal where draft regulations from federal executive bodies are posted that informed about the draft on Wednesday. “Valid from July 1, 2014 the fingerprint scanning procedure will be demanded for foreign citizens and stateless persons to get visas for entry to the Russian Federation.”
If approved, the personal appearance to deliver fingerprints when applying for visa will be introduced country-by-country during 2014 and 2015. First out is Great Britain.
“Let’s hope they will find a flexible solution for people in the Barents Region,” says Rune Rafaelsen.
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.