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Rules of passage into Norway via Russia unchanged for refugees after French terror attacks

November 16, 2015, 20:38 UTC+3 MURMANSK
Migrants arriving at the Russian-Norwegian border in the Murmansk region call it the cheapest and shortest way into Europe
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© Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MURMANSK, November 16 /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) did not tighten security on the Russia-Norwegian border in Russia’s northern Murmansk region following a series of terror attacks in Paris, a Russian border security official said.

"No additional security measures were introduced after (last week’s) terror attacks in Paris," Denis Rozolinsky, the press secretary for the FSB border department for the Republic of Karelia, told TASS.

Migrants arriving at the Russian-Norwegian border in the Murmansk region call it the cheapest and shortest way into Europe.

The FSB border department for the Republic of Karelia told TASS in previous interviews that the mass influx of refugees into the Murmansk region started in the summer (of 2015) with over a hundred people arriving every month. A total of 293 refugees crossed the Borisoglebsky border checkpoint in September and their numbers kept rising in October. A record number of MidEast refugees (196) crossed the Russian-Norwegian border in the Murmansk region on National Unity Day on November 4.

"We have accelerated the passage of refugees through the border. There are fewer of them now than in previous weeks. We have removed tensions caused by the long queues. So there is no rush at the border in principle," Rozolinsky stressed adding that 30 people had crossed the Russian-Norwegian state border via Borisoglebsky over the last weekend.

According to Rozolinsky, the refugees have become different now. More than half of them are from Afghanistan. Others come from Iran, Iraq and other Arab countries.

A source at the administration of the Pechengsky district of the Murmansk region told TASS that the migrants who were heading for Norway now were predominantly single young men. Previously, they used to be Syrians with large families.

The migration mode, however, has remained unchanged.

Syrians and citizens of other Middle East states arrive in the Pechengsky district of the Murmansk region by plane or by train predominantly from Moscow. In Murmansk, they take a taxi to drive them to the border with Norway. A source at one of the local transportation companies told TASS that taxi drivers in Murmansk used to fight for the refugees some time ago and prices for transporting them to the border went up multiple times. Now, the situation is calm. The taxi drivers are engaged in honest competition. Road traffic police and ordinary police patrols are on duty at the airport and in the border areas.

There is a law that forbids crossing the border on foot. That is why inventive refugees cross the Russian-Norwegian border by bicycle. A car trip to the border costs $150. Refugees pay another $150 to rent a bicycle to ride through a border checkpoint.

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