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.
Russia and the EU have agreed to allocate a total of 600 million EUR to cross-border project cooperation. The sum, half of which is provided by the Russian side, could open a new era in project cooperation between the two sides.
The agreement and implementation of the programmes for cross-border cooperation between EU’s northern member states and Russia’s north western regions will be on the agenda when President Dmitri Medvedev today meets the EU leadership in Stockholm.
“This is an important step towards total abolition of visa between Russia and the rest of Europe”, says Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. A ceremony yesterday marked the introduction of visa-free travel for residents of the border area.
Companies trading with Russia are increasingly at unease as Russian Customs introduce a series of enhanced control measures along several of the country`s borders. In December, cross-border trade could face chaos as Russia exits international regulations on cross-border trucks traffic.
As tensions in East-West relations mount, more than 150 representatives of NGOs, regional authorities and institutions meet in Tromsø, northern Norway, to discuss enhanced Norwegian-Russian cooperation in the Barents Region.