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.

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.

Foreigners traveling to Russia must from today provide a specified pre-fixed route of places to visit.

Finnish police car

Burglars on the run get harder times in the Swedish – Finnish borderland as police forces will be allowed to cross the state border.

Amid chilly political climate and sharp decline in the number of border-crossers, Russia invests 3,6 billion roubles in an upgraded road connection to the Norwegian border.

Cross-border shopping-tours slumps sharply the first 10 days of January as the ruble continues to decline and the Russian government predicts a 4 percent drop in economy this year.

Traffic from the Kola Peninsula to Lapland plunged by 15 percent last year, but a new study shows visa-freedom can give 500,000 more border crossings and millions of euro in extra income.

By using military explosive clearing personnel instead of civilian contractors to search for WWII explosives on the building site, the price tag for the new border-crossing station at Storskog was reduced with NOK 100 million.

Russia’s Christmas season is normally peak hour for cross-border shopping, but not so today. Traffic from the Murmansk region to Kirkenes was down 30 percent in December.

The number of visas issued by the Finnish Consulate General in St.Petersburg has dropped to the same level as in 2011. Only in the first half of December the demand for visas fell 40 percent.

After years of booming traffic, November saw the second month in a row with a decline in the number of people crossing the Norwegian-Russian border.

Climbing this barbed wire fence with Norway in the horizon is one of the most difficult ways to enter Schengen-Europe. For those who try, the penalty is a Russian Arctic prison cell.