Norway: Fence Erected on Russian-Norwegian Border to Stop Syrian Refugees

The Norwegian government continued construction of a fence at the Storskog border crossing in the Sor-Varanger province, along the border with Russia, Friday, after thousands of Syrian refugees reportedly fled into the country.

The fence will be around 200m (656 feet) long and 3.5m (11.5 feet) high and is designed to make it more difficult to cross the border into the northern outpost of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone.

In 2016, around 5, 500 migrants, mainly from Syria, crossed into Norway despite having Russian residency permits. The Norwegian government is now toughening asylum rules in order to stop the mass arrival of migrants from Africa and the Middle East via the ‘Arctic route’ from Russia.

The fence is unlikely to affect Norwegian-Russian traffic due to both countries operating a visa-free regime for a short trip. Approximately 250, 000 people make the trip every year.

Construction work is reported to cost Norway some four million Krones ($500, 000).

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