22 May 2009

Russian visa talks with Norway moving forward

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Russian visa talks with the Norwegian government are progressing towards securing visa-free travel over the border separating the two nations, reports the Barents Observer.

The aim of the discussions is to remove the requirements for Norwegians to apply for a Russian visa, and vice versa, so that travel between the two countries can be streamlined.

The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the discussions about the border certificate issue with Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg are coming along well.

"I have noted the positive progress in our cross-border cooperation. In 2008 all restrictions on travel on the road between Murmansk and Kirkenes were removed, and we are now preparing an agreement on travel for inhabitants in the areas close to the border," Putin said.

Those living within a 30 kilometre zone on both sides of the border will be affected by the arrangements, if they are implemented.

Head of the Department of International Affairs by the Office of the Prime Minister Ingvard Havnen said that the Schengen agreement is open to arrangements such as these, and that it is likely the relaxing of Russian visa and Norwegian visa requirements for those living in this zone will come to pass.


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