Visa-free zone between Norway and Russia
May 29 an agreement between Norway and Russia on visa-free regime in the area within a radius of 30 kilometers on both sides of the border came into effect. In Russia the cities Nikel, Pechenga, Zapolyarny and Korzunovo of Murmansk region enter in the zone of the agreement, and from the side of Norway it is the commune of Sør-Varanger, – informs the agency “RIA Novosti”.
Thus, the citizens of Russia and Norway registered in this area are able to cross borders of neighboring states by special permits.
The agreement was signed on November 2, 2010.
According to the rules stipulated by the agreement, a certificate of the border resident will be issued for three years, and give the right not only to cross the border, but also to reside in the territory of a neighboring state within 15 days.
Thereby Norway became the first country of the Schengen area, who partially introduced the visa-free regime with Russia.
As the consul of Norway Lars Georg Fordal noted: “We assume that about 35,000 people will apply for the permit, those who are eligible. To obtain a passport, one must live in the border area at least three years. The card is valid for three years, the cost is 20 euros, while the multiple visa costs 35 euros”.
However, with the new rights the inhabitants of border regions get the new restrictions. In particular, the special permit holders are not allowed to travel outside a 30 km zone under the threat of a ban to enter the Schengen.
According to experts, the innovation will help to establish economic and social ties between the two countries.
“After the introduction of the permit the flow in both directions will increase significantly”, – the Consul General expressed his confidence.