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.

For the first time since 1947 Norwegian and Russian authorities are adjusting the 196 kilometers long border between the two countries. 

Consequences for cross-border traveling and cooperation could be dramatic as Schengen countries and Russia tit-for-tat introduce biometric visas.

So far this year 58 asylum seekers have crossed the border from Russian into Norway. 55 of them came from Syria.

The number of border-crossing between Norway and Russia plummeted nearly 18 percent in May compared to 2014.

Even though most diplomatic contacts are on freezing level between Norway and Russia, there are no changes for the annual Norwegian-Russian search and rescue exercises in the Barents Sea.


The Border Commissariat will not be merged with the police as part of a nationwide police reform, while the two existing police districts in Finnmark will be united into one.

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

Russia works seven days a week with new highway to the border, but the Norwegian Public Roads Administration today announced that the new highway on their side will not open before 2017.

How come that the Barents and the Balkan regions have nearly the same average life expectancy, but their GDPs are dramatically different? BarentsObserver compares two border regions trying to find an answer.

Terrorism fears, with police and soldiers likely targets, is the reason for the special decision to allow Finnish Border Guards to be armed when on patrol in the normally relaxed town of Kirkenes in Norway’s northeastern corner.

Norwegians living in Eastern Finnmark have access to cheaper petrol than any other places in Western Europe. 36 rubel per litre, or 4,4 kroner. That is 10 kroner cheaper than in Kirkenes.

No cold international climate stops Norway and Russia to invest heavily in cross-border road infrastructure. Excavators and dump trucks work day and night upgrading Russia’s highway to NATO.

Checkpoint queues are shorter as the value of the ruble dives and makes it more expensive for people from Murmansk to visit Norway. The other way; more Norwegians visit Russia.