Portions of new border fence may be torn down

A controversial fence being erected on either side of Norway’s border crossing to Russia at Storskog in Finnmark has run into more trouble. Authorities now contend it’s a few centimeters too close to Russia, and may need to be torn down and rebuilt. The Independent Barents Observer reported Monday that no more work will be done […]

Conflicts collide in passport queues

Hapless visitors to Norway and returning residents have become pawns in a conflict that’s reached the boiling point amongst police officers, their superiors and top political officials. At issue are funding and human resources for border patrol at Norway’s gateway airport, where arriving passengers have been facing excessively long waits for passport control. There were even threats […]

Still long lines at passport control

Long lines and delays for both arriving and departing international passengers at Norway’s gateway airport, OSL Gardermoen, have prompted Justice Minister Anders Anundsen to send in reinforcements. The police assigned to such border patrol duty, however, immediately complained that 14 new positions ordered by Anundsen over the weekend aren’t enough. “No, this won’t help when you see […]

Throwing rocks at Russia not allowed

Four Norwegian citizens out sightseeing in Northern Norway were arrested and face heavy fines after they were caught literally throwing rocks at Russia. Police in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark called the rock-throwing over the Norwegian-Russian border a violation of national border laws. Signs in several languages are posted all along the border that Norway […]

Fewer refugees arrive, more go home

The huge influx of refugees into Norway has eased for the third week in a row, with the numbers this time down by two-thirds. Increasing numbers of asylum seekers are also agreeing to return home, after learning that life in Norway isn’t quite what they’d expected. The welcome mat is no longer rolled out like […]

Drunks threaten border control

Border police and security personnel on board ferries between Norway and Denmark are facing problems trying to carry out Norway’s tough new border control procedures. Many of the passengers are too drunk to find their identification and travel documents, or answer border patrol officers’ questions. It’s holiday party season in both Norway and Denmark, and the ferries […]

Russian border conflicts continue

Norwegian and Russian authorities continue to disagree on several cases involving the status of asylum seekers trying to enter Norway from Russia. Around 100 people have been sent back to Russia during the past week, but Russia isn’t accepting all of them. Norwegian authorities contend the Russian rejections amount to a violation of an immigration […]

Border control led to protest

The Norwegian government’s decision to impose stricter border controls this week got off to a relatively smooth start on Thursday. On Friday, though, a couple of asylum seekers refused to be sent back to Russia, and sat down on the border in protest. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Friday afternoon that both protesters were eventually arrested and […]

Confusion rises at border crossings

As Norway’s government issued new orders to further tighten border control, those working at the border stations were uncertain on Wednesday over how inspections are supposed to carried out. “We haven’t received information on exactly what we’re supposed to do,” one border guard told state broadcaster NRK Wednesday morning. The stricter border control is supposed to begin […]

Brende: ‘Border won’t close now’

Foreign Minister Børge Brende announced late Friday afternoon that Norway won’t close its border to Russia, at least not right now. He added, though, that “our country can’t handle” the numbers of asylum seekers crossing the border now. Nearly 200 asylum seekers have crossed the far northern border every day this week. The sheer numbers […]