Norway has 78 border crossings along the vast length of the country, but only nine are actually staffed with border patrol and customs agents, news bureau ABC Nyheter reported this week. Even though the government has boosted border control, officials say it’s “impossible” to have guards posted from southern Sweden all the way north to Finland and Russia.
“We can’t station folks at every single border crossing in Norway,” said Ulf Leirstein, a member of the Parliament’s justice committee for the Progress Party that shares government power with the Conservatives.
While only nine are regularly staffed, border patrol agents do set up random controls at other crossings, Leirstein said, especially in the event of another influx of immigrants. Finance Minister Siv Jensen, who leads the Progress Party, wants to maintain permanent border control at staffed crossings also after dispensation from the EU’s “open borders” Schengen rules expire in October.
Only the border crossing to Russia at Storskog in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark has ongoing control at present that requires presentation of passports. At other staffed crossings, most cars are waved through in between random checks.