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Afghans replace Syrian in refugee flow to Norway through Russia

November 09, 2015, 16:28 UTC+3 MURMANSK
Among those going to Norway are mostly citizens of Afghanistan, though there are also representatives of dozen other countries — from Bangladesh to the African republic of Togo
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Russian-Norwegian border

Russian-Norwegian border

© Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MURMANSK, November 9. /TASS/. The flow of refugees from the Middle East heading for Norway through Russia’s Murmansk Oblast has changed its national composition, a source from security agencies told TASS on Monday.

There are almost no Syrians left among migrants, he added. "Among those going to Norway are mostly citizens of Afghanistan, though there are also representatives of dozen other countries — from Bangladesh to the African republic of Togo," he noted adding that the number of refugees has significantly decreased.

The administration of Murmansk Oblast’s Pechengsky district confirmed to TASS that the number of migrants has in fact been falling. Among those heading to Norway now are mostly young men, while Syrians often brought their whole families with them.

The means of migration has not changed. Foreigners arrive in Murmansk by planes or trains, take the taxi to the Pechengsky district and cross the border with Norway from there. Border control service in Russia’s Karelia Republic told TASS earlier that the flow of Syrian refugees started in the Murmansk Oblast in summer when more than 100 people arrived each month. The flow sharply grown in October and peaked in November with 196 people arriving daily. Refugees are arriving legally — their documents for entering Russia are in order, mostly tourist or student visas. However, they do not have documents to enter Norway legally.

The frontier between Norway and Russia consists of a 195.7-kilometer land border between Sor-Varanger, Norway, and Pechengsky district, Russia, and a 23.2-kilometer marine border in the Varangerfjord. It further consists of a border between the two countries’ exclusive economic zones in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean.

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