Russians use Norwegian border crossing to get in and out Europe

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Russians use Norwegian border crossing to get in and out Europe
Russians are using the border in Kirkenes to travel into Europe as a result of clsoed airspace .A general view of the Norwegian border crossing station at Storskog on November 11, 2015 near the town of Kirkenes in northern Norway. Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP.

With Vladimir Putin's move to invade Ukraine, Russians have found it harder to travel in and out of Europe, but many have turned to the border crossing with Norway as an alternative.


A small Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle has become a route for Russians to travel in and out of Europe, newspaper VG reports. 

Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has led to European airspace being closed to Russian aircraft and most international airlines cancelling flights to and from Russia. Now, many Russians are using the border near Kirkenes to journey in and out of Europe.

Below you can see Kirkenes on the map, the black line towards the bottom right is the Russian border. 


Aleksander Kotelnikov, who runs a taxi company that shuttles people between Kirkenes on the Norwegian side of the border and Murmansk on the Russian side, has said that entry and exit via Kirkenes was one of few logical choices for those who want to travel between Russia and the West. The other routes available to Russians were via Istanbul and Dubai.

The taxi company owner added that the route via Kirkenes was most popular for people who would typically fly between Oslo and Moscow. 

“Now those who would normally fly Oslo-Moscow come here to Kirkenes, then we drive them across the border to Murmansk, and then they fly domestically to Moscow,” he told VG.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Norway’s border with Russia

Prior to the airspace ban, a flight between Moscow and Olso took 2.5 hours.

The police in Finnmark have said that there are no restrictions barring Russian nationals who have a Schengen visa, residence permit, or border permit, from travelling into Norway via Kirkenes. 

Refugees previously used the border crossing near Kirkenes to travel from Russia into Norway. The route gained national and international headlines due to Russian laws prohibiting foot crossings and Norwegian ones preventing people from driving migrants across the border. This led to refugees using bicycles to cross the border.


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