Border traffic continues decline
The decrese in travelers between Russia and Norway continue to reflect the slowdown in border shopping.
Border traffic was down 6,5 percent in January compared with the same month in 2015. The numbers have continued to decline all since the ruble started nosediving in late 2014. A lot of the border crossings from the Murmansk region to Kirkenes in northern Norway are shoppers on a one-day tour. A Norwegian krone is nearly twice the price compared with early autumn 2014, making goods and services in Norway double in price.
18,390 border crossings were counted in January, down 1,271 from January 2015, says Chief of Police at Storskog border checkpoint Stein Kristian Hansen.
Border traffic across Storskog-Borisoglebsk was down 23 percent in total from 2014 to 2015.
After an sharp drop in the value of the ruble, one would think that more Norwegian would drive to Russia for shopping and filling up the tank with gasoline that is three times cheaper in Russia than in Norway. Not so, also the number of Norwegians crossing the border nosedives.
In January, there were around one thousand less border crossings made by Norwegians traveling under the visa-free regime for citizens in the border areas, according to the statistics from the Police.
The decline in Norwegian border crossings are more likely caused by climate cold than political cold between the two countries. January had weeks with temperatures below minus 30°C.