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Border traffic between Russia and Norway down 28 percent

Storskog border check-point.

20,273 border-crossings were counted in April, down 21,6 percent compared with April 2014. 

20,273 border-crossings were counted in April, down 21,6 percent compared with April 2014. 

Over the first four months 78,195 crossings are counted at Storskog check-point, down 28 percent compared with the January to April period last year, according to the figures from the Police in Eastern Finnmark in charge of immigration control.

Stein Hansen with the police says to BarentsObserver that the decrease in traffic by people holding visa to Schengen or Russia is down 5,000 in April compared with April 2014.

The main reason for the decrease in traffic is the low exchange rate for the Russian ruble. Traditionally, much of the cross-border traffic are Russians driving over to Norway for shopping.

The numbers of people crossing the border between Norway and Russia’s Kola Peninsula holding a border ID card is on increase. Last month, 3,668 crossings by Norwegians were counted and 1,701 crossings by Russians took place. 

The visa-freedom travel was introduced in 2012 for local residents living less than 30 kilometres from the border. The area includes the Norwegian town of Kirkenes and the two Russian towns of Nikel and Zapolyarny.