More and more Russian men are crossing the border to Norway via Storskog

Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB

Traffic over the Storskog border checkpoint has increased somewhat in recent days. But traffic is still low, and below pre-pandemic levels, the police emphasized on Monday.

Since July 15 this year, when Russia lifted its travel restrictions in connection with the pandemic, traffic has gradually increased over the Storskog border checkpoint.

On Monday, around 40 Russian men crossed the border, according to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Several of them are fleeing the country to avoid being forced into the Ukraine war.

“I am against war and do not want to risk being sent to war. I’m tired of all the propaganda,” one of them told the channel.

The same tendency as in other countries

On Sunday, a total of 243 people entered Norway via Storskog, and 91 people traveled out of Norway. Of those who entered, 167 had Schengen visas.

“We have gone through the figures from the last few days and see that the number of Russian men arriving with Schengen visas has increased and constitutes the largest increase in the last week. 

“In other words, the police in Finnmark see the same tendency that other countries bordering Russia see, but on a much smaller scale,” Sølve Solheim, section leader for operational immigration control in the Finnmark Police District, stated.

At the weekend, 17,000 Russians crossed the border into Finland, according to the Finnish border control.

Expecting increased traffic

Solheim stated that the Schengen visas are issued by countries other than Norway. Norway canceled its visa agreement with Russia the day after Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization.

The Russians also carry cash in order to be able to stay in Schengen over time, as are the requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa.

“We expect traffic to increase this week as well. Although the number of Russians who are now traveling on visas is increasing, the total number of travelers via Storskog is not higher than what we expected after the pandemic,” Solheim added.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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