The local border traffic agreement will open up for visa-free traveling for locals living up to 50 km from the border line. The deal will come into force in June this year, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports. That might make Latvia the first country to get a local visa-free zone with Russia. Latvia from before has a similar agreement with Belarus, which came info force in February 2012.
The visa-free permits will be issued free of charge to all local inhabitants, irrespectively of nationality, which have resided in the border municipalities more than three years.
As previously reported, Russia has from before signed an agreement on local border traffic with Norway. That agreement was signed already in 2010, but has not yet come into force.
Russia has also signed local border traffic agreements with Poland and Lithuania. These agreements are expected to come into force in July this year. The Russian-Polish agreement will be historical because it will include the whole Kaliningrad Oblast and similiarly big areas on the Polish side. Up to five million people will be entitled to get the facilitated traveling permits.
Because of the special relationship with Kaliningrad, Russia and Poland got the blessing from the EU Commission to apply special conditions in their local border traffic agreement. Otherwise, the Schengen Code allows for the establishment of the visa-free zones only in a 30 km, and in exceptional cases 50 km, range from the border.
In Belarus, national authorities have established a special website dedicated to the development of local visa-free traveling with neighboring Latvia.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.