Border traffic between Murmansk and Norway dropped after entry-ban for private cars
32 years of open border for private cars came to an end on October 3 when Norwegian authorities decided to join the EU’s tighter interpretation of the import sanctions on Russian private vehicles to also include short-term cross-border driving.
The sanctions, imposed in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, made an immediate impact on the number of people crossing to border.
3,953 people entered or exited Storskog checkpoint in October, says Sven Arne Davidsen, immigration controller with the police. That is 1,878 people less than in September, a 32% drop from September.
Compared with October 2022, the decline is 43%.
This summer, traffic from Russia to Norway increased as other European neighbors banned Russian citizens with tourist visas from entering. Consequently, vacation travelers from other regions of Russia drove north and used Norway as transit to other European destinations.
In July, border traffic was 6,886 people, and in August the number was 6,700.
Kirkenes, the border town, has since the ban on private vehicles came into force in early October, seen an increase in Russian mini-busses with passengers heading for day-tour shopping.