Norway–Russia border barrier
The Norway–Russia border barrier is an international border barrier built by Norway on the Norway–Russia border. Construction of the barrier began in September 2016 and took a few months. The intent of the project was to prevent the smuggling and illegal crossing of migrants from the Middle East, mainly from Syria, who have used Russia as a route of entry into Norway (and thus into the European Union's passport-free Schengen zone).
In 2016, 5,500 asylum-seekers illegally entered Norway from Russia. Because it is illegal to drive from Russia to Norway without proper legal permission, and crossing on foot is prohibited, the migrants make the crossing on bicycles. At the end of September 2016, it was discovered that some foundations have to be moved, since the border treaty says that there shall be no built object within two meters (79 inches) from the border on each side, and some foundations were built up to 15 cm (6 in) too close to the border.
The barrier is located at the Storskog border crossing. It is built of steel and stands 660 feet (200 m) long and 11 to 12 feet (3.4 to 3.7 m) high. The fence includes a gate for the road traffic, built so people cannot walk through it when it is closed.
There has been an agreement that the Russian border control do not allow people to cross the border if they don't have proper visas into Norway. This means that they can't apply for asylum since they never reach Norway. In doubtful cases, Norwegian border police are allowed to see the passports while the bearer has to wait in the Russian station. This is the background for the barrier, preventing people from escaping the station and run to Norway.
On 15 August 2017, a Syrian citizen ran through the Russian border control and tried to climb over the fence. Russian Border Guards stopped him. In July 2017 two persons were arrested by Russian guards for trying to pass the border outside the station.
There exists an older barrier at the old border control site at Skafferhullet near the Pasvik river 4 km west of Storskog. It was probably built around 1960 when the road was used for construction of the Borisoglebsky hydroelectric station, and only accessible for authorised traffic. This border crossing was passable for general public before 1940 and again in 1965.
Furthermore, there are fences around the Pasvik River hydroelectric stations, of which some are located on the border. These fences are not considered to be border fences, but private installation fences.
There is a fence along the entire Russian border to Norway and Finland, built by the Soviet Union. It is located one or a few kilometres from the border, and has automatic alarms detecting if someone climbs over it. There is a simple gravel road along both entire borders, permitted only for border guards and other authorised people, enabling quick response if an alarm goes off.
- "Norway Will Build a Fence at Its Arctic Border With Russia". New York Times. Reuters. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Pancevsky, Bojan (4 September 2016). "Norway builds Arctic border fence as it gives migrants the cold shoulder". The Times of London. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Osborne, Samuel (25 August 2016). "Norway to build border fence with Russia to keep out refugees". The Independent.
- Hovland, Kjetil Malkenes (3 September 2015). "Syrian Refugees Take Arctic Route to Europe More than 150 refugees have entered Norway from Arctic Russia this year". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Må flytte deler av omstridt gjerde på Storskog én centimeter
- Storskog: Nye «sykkelasylsøkere» på vei? (Human Rights Service, 6 Oct 2016, In Norwegian)
- Syrer prøvde å klatre over piggtrådgjerde inn til Norge