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Norway Could Close Its Borders to Russians in a Few Hours’ Notice

“Border can be closed in a few hours’ notice,” Norway’s Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl has stressed regarding imposing bans on Russians.

This means that the Nordic country could soon join the list of other European territories that have imposed an entry ban on Russian citizens following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

According to a report provided by the Barents Observer, since February 24, when Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, only four Russian citizens have entered Norway, one in June and three in August.

In order to prevent an influx of Russian citizens, Norway’s Minister of Justice last month announced that the country would impose a ban on Russia.

The Minister emphasized that the country is ready to take all the preventive measures while announcing that changes can come at short notice.

“We will close the border quickly if necessary, and changes can come at short notice. There have been few arrivals in Norway compared to Finland, and the situation is different here,” Mehl pointed out in this regard in a statement, according to Reuters.

Recently, authorities in Finland announced that they banned entry for Russian tourists.

“Finland will severely restrict the travel of Russians to Finland for tourism purposes. Entry restrictions come into force on September 30, 2022, at 00:00, and are valid until further notice,” the statement provided by Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.

Another European country, Lithuania, also imposed a ban on arrivals from Russia. Authorities in Lithuania also announced that they denied entry to a total of 153 citizens of Russia since the entry ban took effect.

Authorities in Estonia also announced that they banned the entry of ten Russian citizens on the first day of restrictions imposed on Russians. Authorities in Estonia last month announced that they would stop issuing Schengen visas and also ban entry for all Russians who hold a valid visa, starting from September 19.

Besides Estonia, authorities in the Baltic States, Latvia, and Lithuania also imposed a ban on Russians.

In this regard, the ministers of foreign affairs of the three countries stressed that it was necessary to take further measures to address security threats.

“Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have agreed on a common regional approach and now express their political will and firm intention to introduce temporary national measures for Russian citizens holding EU visas in order to address imminent public policy and security threats and restrict the entry into the Schengen area for the Russian citizens traveling for tourism, culture, sport and business purposes,” the ministers pointed out through a joint statement.

The issue of Russian citizens has sparked controversies among European Union countries; while some countries support the idea, others have opposed imposing restrictions on Russia, such as Portugal, Greece, and Cyprus.

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