“We expect an increase flow of tourists among the residents in the border areas between Murmansk and Finnmark,” Marine Kovtun said at the meeting with the regional delegation from Norway on Tuesday.
Runar Sjåstad expressed a hope that the visa-freedom in the border areas will promote even more the ongoing dialogue between Finnmark and Murmansk. He also highlighted the prospects for collaboration in economic development across the border.
The agreement on visa-free travel for inhabitants in the Norwegian-Russian border areas enters force on May 29. The day after, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre arrives in Kirkenes to witness the issuing of the first documents for visa-free border crossing to Russia. The area covered by visa-freedom for local residents includes Kirkenes on the Norwegian side and the municipality of Pechenga on Russia’s Kola Peninsula.
Traffic across the Norwegian-Russian border has been increasing steadily for the last years, and the introduction of visa-free travel is expected to give the development an even further push.
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.