The Royal Norwegian Consulate General's participation in the Barents Cooperation by Marit Jacobsen

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The Royal Norwegian Consulate General's participation in the Barents Cooperation by Marit Jacobsen

  1. 1. The Royal Norwegian Consulate General’s participation in the Barents Cooperation
  2. 2. Background Established in 1993 as a result of • stronger Norwegian involvement in the regional Barents Cooperation • strategic interest for North-Western Russia in Norway still important because of the Norwegian government’s commitment to the Arctic areas
  3. 3. Geography
  4. 4. Fields of operation regarding the Barents area • Facilitation of cooperation and organisation of activities across the borders in the fields of economy, culture, indigenous peoples, people-to-people relations • Close contact with the Barents secretariat • Co-organiser of the local border cooperation days in Pechenga municipality
  5. 5. Local border traffic permit (LBTP) • Разрешение на местное приграничное передвижение
  6. 6. Background • The agreement was signed on 02.11.2010 and entered into force on 29.05. 2012. • The agreement seeks to facilitate development of people-to-people contact as a condition for economical, social and cultural cooperation
  7. 7. What does the permit entail? - Gives a right to travel to the other country without a visa - Is valid for three years - It is only possible to cross the border at Storskog/Borisoglebsk - Gives only a right to stay in the areas defined in the agreement (30 km on each side) - Gives the right to stay in the other country’s territory for up to15 days each time
  8. 8. Experiences so far • More than 2500 Norwegians and 1200 Russians hold the permit • During 2013, there has been more than 40 000 border crossings in accordance with the local border traffic permit regime • Most holders use the permit for shopping, to do business and participate in cultural or other events
  9. 9. What next? • We are awating a possible visa free regime between the Schengen countries and Russia • In the meantime – the Royal Norwegian Consulate General continue to facilitate easy submitting of documents for visas and local border traffic permits • Awaiting Russian authorities’ decision about opening an honorary consulate in the border near areas.

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