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.
The first ever agreement on visa-free travel between Russia and a Schengen-member state was signed in Oslo today. The agreement stipulates how the population in the near-border areas can cross the border only by showing their ID-card.
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.
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.