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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.

Russian President calls on the Federal Security Service (FSB) collegium to make priority to Arctic border infrastructure.

30 percent of population on Norwegian side is granted visa-freedom while only 3 percent in Pechenga has got the same rights.

Russia will start collecting fingerprints from foreigners applying for visa. For Barents travelers, personal appearance to the nearest diplomatic mission can be too expensive.

Finland is still No.1 in attracting visitors from the Kola Peninsula.

5 percent increase in traffic over Lotta - Raja-Jooseppi check-point between Finnish Lapland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula in 2013.

Russia is reviving its once-powerful civilian border brigades, even in its remotest Arctic.

The Storskog-Borisoglebsk border crossing point between Norway and Russia saw a record number of 320,042 crossings in 2013.

This weekend person number 300.000 crossed the Norwegian-Russian border. This is nearly 40 percent more than one year ago.

Russia and Norway are discussing expansion of the visa-free zone to cover the whole of Finnmark and Murmansk says Federation Council member.

Head of County Council in Finnmark, Runar Sjåstad, urges money on the table so Norway could match Russia’s funding to construct new border check-point.

NIKEL: A €26 million investment at the Russian border checkpoint to Norway will eliminate all queues on the Russian side. The reconstruction of the checkpoint is planned to be finished by 2015.

STORSKOG: Watch BOTV’s saturday morning report from Storskog border checkpoint.

The cross-border cooperation between Norway and Russia has had huge impact on local business in the border towns of Nikel and Kirkenes, especially since the introduction of visa-free border crossings.

STORSKOG: Queues are getting longer as traffic between Russia and Norway is now twice the capacity at the old border check-point. Chief of Police in Eastern Finnmark, Ellen Kathrine Hætta, urges funding to new facilities.