After finishing the Barents Summit and bilateral talks the prime ministers of the neighboring countries visited Russemonumentet (the Russian Monument) – a memorial erected in honor of the Red Army which liberated Kirkenes in the autumn of 1944, after four years of Nazi-German occupation.
Prime Minister Medvedev laid down a large wreath with a bow saying “From the Russian Government” to the monument before being followed by Prime Minister Stoltenberg back to the cortege and continuing to the Storskog border station. Soldiers from the Garrison in Sør-Varanger were honor guards during the ceremony.
The monument of a Red Army soldier was installed in 1952 as a tribute to the Red Army’s sacrifice during the Petsamo-Kirkenes offensive between 15 and 25 October 1944, when parts of the Finnmark County in north-eastern Norway were liberated from Nazi occupation.
Both Russians and Norwegians in Kirkenes celebrate the Norwegian Liberation Day on May 8, the Russian Victory Day on May 9 and the liberation of Kirkenes on October 25 by this monument. The memorial text on the monument says “In memory of the brave Soviet soldiers that liberated Kirkenes in 1944”.