After the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, the cancellation of flights and closed airspace, the Russians found themselves isolated from Europe. However, whoever seeks will always find: our compatriots have found an alternative “window” for flight to Europe without extremely long flights – this is the border crossing with Norway, located beyond the Arctic Circle.
According to the Norwegian newspaper VG, a large number of people wishing to get to Europe or return to their country are registered near the border near Kirkenes.
Recall that the EU closed its airspace for Russian aircraft in early March due to the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine. Since the airspace has been closed, most airlines have canceled their flights and Russian travelers have lost direct and convenient flights to and from Europe. Detours through transit countries significantly increased travel time and made travel more expensive.
A taxi company manager who managed the transport of tourists between Norwegian Kirkenes and Russian Murmansk noted that the border at Kirkenes is one of the few logical routes for those who wish to have a “window” between Western countries and Russia. Other routes available to our compatriots run through Istanbul and Dubai.
According to the owner of the company, the route via Kirkenes is especially popular among people who usually fly from Moscow to Oslo and back. “Those who usually fly the Oslo-Moscow route come here to Kirkenes, then we take them across the border to Murmansk, and from there they fly domestic flights to Moscow,” he explained.
It turned out that those who enter Europe mainly do so for business purposes or to visit their relatives. At the same time, as noted by the Norwegian authorities, there are no deterrents prohibiting Russian citizens who have a Schengen visa, residence permit or other document in their hands from entering Norway through the border checkpoint in Kirkenes.
The EU has already agreed on a fifth package of restrictive measures against Russia, which includes a ban on Russian-flagged ships from entering EU ports. Norway and Russia have had stable fishing cooperation for a very long time. However, new sanctions are about to call into question this cooperation. However, if Norway accepts this sanctions package, local authorities are ready to make some adjustments and apply certain exemptions for several categories, Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bjornar Skjaran said.
In addition to the fact that Norway plans to introduce new restrictions , she has already expelled three Russian diplomats. The authorities explained that this decision was made due to the fact that the actions of Russian officials did not correspond to their diplomatic status.
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