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.
In last week’s session in the State Border Commission, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered less red tape and more efficiency on the country’s state borders. He also appointed his close ally Sergey Ivanov new deputy head of the commission.
Russian customs officials in the Russian border town of Svetogorsk are calling for additional insurance and security escorts for vehicles carrying cargo valued at more than 50,000 USD. The new rule spurs cross-border traffic problems on the Russian-Finnish border.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday appointed Dmitrii Bezdelov, former official in the Ministry of Defence, as new head of the federal Border Development Agency. Mr. Bezdelov’s main task will be to increase efficiency and reduce red tape and corruption on the country’s border passes.
Russian vehicles might in the near future have to pay up to 2200 EUR per year for using Finnish roads. Finnish government officials say the measure is meant to alleviate problems with heavy traffic and backlogs on main roads in south-eastern Finland.
Voluntary border patrols of local civilians give invaluable help to the regular border forces along the Russian-Norwegian border, a regional border guard commander says. In the course of the last 10 months, these patrols have contributed to the detention of more than 70 violators of the border regime.
Of the 22 worldwide seabed claims submitted to the U.N. commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the most serious potential for disputes is in the Arctic, writes The New York Times. Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia all have competing claims.
In early May this year a group of eight Afghans showed up at the Norwegian border station of Storskog. According to newspaper Aftenposten, Russian authorities and border guards actively assisted the refugees getting across the border.