Norway has controversially continued to allow Russian vessels to dock at selected ports in the north, for trade and maritime assistance reasons. Now the police chief in the northern county of Finnmark wants to limit the movements of crew members going ashore, for security reasons.
Newspaper Sør-Varanger Avis reports that Russian seafarers will no longer be able to freely wander around in downtown Kirkenes, the Norwegian city closest to Norway’s border to Russia. They’ve earlier been able to move freely within Kirkenes’ city limits, but now they’ll be restricted to the harbour area where their vessels dock.
A draft of the new restrictions being sent out to hearing will limit the presence of Russian crew members on ships docking at Kirkenes to the area north of the E6 highway between the piers serving coastal voyage vessels (Hurtigrutekaia) and commercial vessels (Sydvarangerkaia). The state-controlled police cite current “security policy situation in Europe,” which increases the need for security and control by Norwegian authorities.