hidden europe 25

Pomor visa fiasco

by hidden europe


Way up north near the Barents Sea, Norway borders onto Russia. The Norwegian port of Kirkenes depends heavily on good links with its Russian hinterland. But all is not well in this Arctic wilderness.

There are rumblings on Russia's border with neighbouring Norway. For residents of the Russian industrial town of Nikel, close to the border, the Russian regional centre at Murmansk is over two hundred kilometres distant on roads that are often treacherous in winter. So it is no surprise that residents of Nikel with roubles to spare are much tempted by the shopping opportunities in nearby Kirkenes, the Norwegian port on the Barents Sea that is little more than a one hour drive away.

But the cost of getting a visa in Nikel precluded many local residents from making the trip to Kirkenes.

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