Visa-free area between Russia and Norway
Meeting of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg ended by signing a number of important documents in the sphere of cooperation between the two countries.
First of all, they reached an agreement on the division of the disputed spaces in the Barents Sea. Area of 175 thousand square km rich in natural resources, for many years served as the subject of violent disputes, and reason for mutual grievances. So, experts call this agreement a historic one.
As Jens Stoltenberg stated: “The decision concerning the border is not just a dividing line. It is also good-neighborly relations.”
“We are neighbors and we want friendly relations and cooperation. We need to fix difficult questions. The more continued the problem, the more tension appeared”, – confirmed Dmitry Medvedev.
Other important agreements related to development of cooperation between the two countries.
In particular, an agreement on cooperation in science and education was signed between the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Knowledge of Norway. An agreement was reached in the energy field, in management training for the organization of the national economy of Russia and Norway – said the agency “Interfax”.
Another important decision of the heads of countries was the agreement on visa-free regime for residents of border areas.
Thus, the population living within a radius of 30 km from the border between the countries will be able to visit the neighboring country without visa.
This right in the near future will benefit 40,000 residents of Murmansk region and about 9,000 of Norwegians. For example, it can help to strengthen cooperation between the Russian village of Nickel and the Norwegian city of Kirkenes.
According to Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affaires Jonas Gahr Store, with the lapse of time the Russian border should be opened entirely.
“I believe that the future border with Russia should be the same as the border with our neighbors from the Nordic countries. Some say it is naive to think this will happen. This will not happen next year or in five years, but it should be in the future” – said Mr. Stere.
There is no exact date of signing the documents relating to the introduction of visa-free regime in the border areas.
However, there are a number of questions, which have not reached its solution. Primarily, these are questions related to human rights in Russia, to the situation of journalists and civil advocate. Dmitry Medvedev said that even if Russia is ready for dialogue, but prefers to deal with its problems without outside help.