For the Russians, there is only one land access point to Europe: the authorities are thinking about its imminent closure

There is only one land access point to Europe left for the Russians: the authorities are thinking about its imminent closure< /p>Whether Norway will follow the example of Finland and ban the majority of tourist visa holders from entering through the Storskog border checkpoint, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom Ragnhild Holland Simenstad did not answer on her own, explaining that the Ministry of Justice should comment on this later.

According to According to the Barents Observer, in turn, the agency has not yet decided to unambiguously answer questions about blocking the borders for our compatriots, because. has not yet come up with a final decision in the course of deliberations. This means that Storskog currently remains the only land border with Europe open to Russian tourists.

Help: Storskog is a settlement in Norway, where the only regular automobile checkpoint on the Russian-Norwegian border is located. On the Russian side, the point is called Borisoglebsk.

Like Finland, Norway has also prioritized the issuance of multiple-entry visas with a validity of three to five years in recent years. This means that many travelers who received Schengen visas before the coronavirus pandemic can still enter through the northernmost Storskog land checkpoint on the border of the Schengen area and Russia. So far, the Norwegian authorities have not given an unambiguous answer to possible changes in the rules for entering Storskog, probably by monitoring the statistics at the border.

By the way, they record that the flow of Russian men with Schengen passports has increased dramatically – details here.


However, it is possible that the count goes on for weeks or even days before the moment when the window to Europe slams shut, because. The EU Commission has already issued a general guideline for action in the border areas in relation to Russians (read more about this at the link). Let's make a reservation that the Kingdom of Norway, although not a member of the EU, is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and is closely connected with the European Union, supporting almost all anti-Russian sanctions.

Recall that from midnight on Friday, September 30, citizens of the Russian Federation can no longer travel to Finland or transit through it if their main purpose is tourism. Finnish authorities have imposed unprecedented restrictions on entry into the country, closing their eastern border to Russian travelers. Crossing the checkpoint is now allowed only for certain categories of citizens of the Russian Federation, the number of which is very small. “The restriction will remain in effect until further notice,” Foreign Minister Pekka Havvisto explained at a press conference in Helsinki.

Finland's harsh measures were a response to Russia's special operation in Ukraine and referendums in the liberated territories. Thus, the foreign minister said that Finland fears for its reputation in international relations if Russian travelers can continue to use the country to circumvent restrictions imposed on air travel: all passenger flights between Europe and Russia were banned after February 24.

< p>However, there are a few exceptions. Decisions in each individual case will be taken directly by the border authorities at the border checkpoints. So, Russians traveling on a Schengen visa will still be allowed to pass if their purpose is to visit their families, study, business trips and other good reasons – in a word, not tourism.

Truck drivers were also left the opportunity to cross Russian- Norwegian border, the publication reported. But for most travelers, Finland is now closed. The Suomi authorities reported that in recent years they have issued hundreds of thousands of visas to Russian citizens, which are still valid, but many of them simply will not be able to use them, because. they issued Schengen specifically for tourist trips.

Since the partial mobilization in the Russian Federation was announced on September 21, more than 50,000 people have arrived in Finland through the land border, and 29,000 of them have left the eastern checkpoints. This is evidenced by the data of the border service. Two weeks before the decision of the Finnish authorities, the borders for Russians traveling for tourism purposes were closed by the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Poland.

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