TV2: Russia denies return agreement with Norway

Storskog. Border with RussiaStorskog. Border with Russia.Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix

According to Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug, Norway has an agreement with Russia for the return of individuals with multiple visas, however the Russian Embassy denies that this agreement exists between the two countries, reports TV2 news.

Statements by the Russian Embassy about the so-called Storskog Agreement conflicts with what Minister Sylvi Listhaug claimed no later than 23 November.

According to TV2, the FRP Minister has known since March that the Russians only welcome people with permanent residence permits, but in response to both the press and Parliament Listhaug has nevertheless indicated that an agreement has been reached for the return of asylum seekers with multiple visas – a visa that allows multiple entries – and that she is in dialogue with the Russians about returning these asylum seekers.

Press Spokesman Maxim Gurov from the Russian Embassy in Oslo writes in an email to TV 2 that Russia has never accepted to take back asylum seekers, because they should have come with false information to Russian authorities.

– We have no knowledge of any new official inquiries from Norway about their interpretation of the “Agreement between Russia and Norway regarding re-admission,” writes Gurov.

After becoming aware of the response from the Russian Press Spokesman, the Ministry of Justice confirms for the first time that Russia has now withdrawn from the agreement.

“Later, the Russian authorities withdrew from the agreement, and stated that such returns will not be accepted,” writes State Secretary Vidar Brein-Karlsen in an email to TV 2.

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