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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.

Sergei Lavrov

The EU and Russia will in December present a joint plan on the introduction of visa-free travelling.

Welcome to Finland.

Never before has so many crossed the borders between Russia’s Kola Peninsula and Finland.

“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.

Extensive road construction is underway along the cross-border highway linking Norway and Russia in the north.

Finland sees an exceptional rise in visitors from Russia and had an estimated income of €1,2 billion last year from Russian shoppers and tourists.

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.

5 percent increase in traffic over Lotta - Raja-Jooseppi check-point between Finnish Lapland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula in 2013.

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.

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.

Travelers from Arkhangelsk are told to apply at least one month prior to departure and should add another 770 rubles in fee.

Since last spring, dozens of pirate taxi drivers lost their visa to Finland after driving passengers over the border.

Italy is ready to bring the question of visa-free travel between the EU and Russia up for a vote in the Union, the country’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said today. With the new Lisabon Treaty in place, that vote could result in visa free travelling already in 2010.

Photo: Kremlin.ru

Without solving the visa issue, it will not be possible to build an extensive and long-term partnership between Russia and the EU, President Dmitry Medvedev told German Chancellor Angela Merkel.