Norwegian border fence a “hot topic” in Russia

border fenceIllustrasjon.Border fence. Photo: Norway Today

Last week work started on setting up a 200-meter-long fence along the border with Russia on Storskog in Sør-Varanger. The Russian media are closely monitoring.

Border fences are being built across Europe. On Storskog a 3.5-meter-high wire fence was set up along the Norwegian-Russian border.

According to NRK’s foreign correspondent Morten Jentoft, this has become a “hot topic” in Russia.

– This is an issue all Russian media has seized on. More information such as that it is a relatively short fence has not arrived. Many Russians believe this fits into the picture of how outside world, including Norway, is now isolating from the country, says Jentoft.

NRK has visited a number of Russian online newspapers which are reviewing the fence.

Russian press has described the border fence

The Russian news side Bagnet writes that Norway builds a wall to separate itself from Russia.
Also leader of Barenssekretariatet in Kirkenes Lars Georg Fordal has been joined by the Russian media reviewing the border fence. Fordal says the negative review is not surprising.

– The foreign papers I have seen, writes little about the fact that the fence is 200 meters. It gives a negative signal. This could have been done in a more constructive way if one had better dialogue.

Great debate in Norway

The border fence has created considerable debate in Norway. Secretary of State Ove André Vanebo in Ministry of Justice, said the aim of the fence is to ensure control of the border crossing point.

– A fence that is 200 meters long will be a powerful armament on infrastructure around the border station. The fence will make it easier to manage any large population flows, says Vanebo.

Fordal thinks that the fence is completely unnecessary.

– The border is 196 km long. It will therefore not be possible to illegally go over. One will be able to go five meters to the left of the fence and splash the water, or take care of other places along the border. The fence solves no problems, and it gives out a very negative symbolism, says Fordal.


Source:     NRK / Norway Today

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