The moved followed a provocative visit to Svalbard in April by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is banned from entering the European Union under the sanctions regime brought in following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Last Friday, Norway enacted new rules allowing it to report unwelcome Russian visitors.
“The Norwegian side’s actions do not conform to the spirit of international cooperation in Spitsbergen, based on the Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920,” the Russian ministry said in its statement. “We strongly protest against this unfriendly step and demand the immediate revision of the imposed restrictions.”
The Russian government argued that under the 1920 treaty, Russians and Norwegians should have equal access to the islands.