Norway-Russia border: rules of conduct
It’s fascinating, exciting and, admittedly, a little creepy on the Norway-Russia border. Here two time zones but also two political systems come together, which cannot be more different. In spite of all the differences, respect for the border country and the border officials on both sides of the border should be a matter of course.
The border between Norway and Russia is 45 km through the middle of the river from the Barents Sea. The deepest channel in the river is the basis for this. Yellow posts on the Norwegian side and red-green posts on the Russian side make the border visible.
Don’t show aggressive behavior
The Norway-Russia border is very closely guarded on both sides. Patrols on the Norwegian and Russian sides, but also video surveillance are all equivalent. The police officers and the soldier are not to be joked with. A stone’s throw across the border will be noticed and will lead to arrest. Both Norway and Russia do not tolerate aggressive behavior towards the other side of the border. So if you think you have to provoke Russia on the border, you can count on at least three months in prison or a hefty fine.
No crossing the border
Anyone who thinks that crossing Norway-Russia at this open-ended border will have similar problems with the Norwegian markings. In the worst case, you will be arrested by Russian border guards. The motto is to keep your distance. It is also a good idea to take children by the hand and definitely keep your dog on a leash.
It should also be noted that in this environment the weather changes quickly and the visibility can become poor. Keep a sufficient distance, then there is no risk of an unauthorized border crossing, which can also be seen as a provocation or espionage.
Take pictures at the border
No military installations, no personnel related to the Norway-Russia border and no military vehicles may be photographed. No matter whether it is in Norwegian or across to Russian territory. Beyond the border, photography with a tripod and with a focal length KB greater than 200mm is prohibited.
In addition to the fact that today’s cameras are quickly located using GPS, ignoring this ban can be understood as espionage but also as aggression towards Russia, both of which are severely punished in Norway.
The border between Norway and Russia is also a border between NATO and Russia. On the Russian side there is a restricted area of 18 kilometers along the border.
No fishing at the border river
The border river may be fished, but in some cases only by the locals, not without a corresponding permit, which is utopianly expensive for foreigners. It is simply not worth it. You also have to register with the border commissioner.
Over to Russia – Storskog Boris Gleb border crossing
Just over to Russia, that’s not so easy. The inhabitants of the region have a special status and, accordingly, a special permit to cross the border. If you want to go to Russia, you need a visa, which you cannot get spontaneously at the only border crossing Norway-Russia / Storskog – Boris Gleb. You have to apply for this at an official Russian institution.
From personal experience: You shouldn’t go to Russia on your own or by car. There are offers for tours to Murmansk, for example, which can be booked in the tourist information in Kirkenes. If you don’t have the necessary contacts and experience, things can quickly get very dangerous.
Apart from that, Russia and its people are a dreamlike country with an intimate and lived hospitality and an incomparable nature. But that’s a very different topic.
Behavior in the border triangle Norway-Finland-Russia: Treriksrøysa
It is recommended not to use the border road because the risk of unauthorized crossing is very high. Even if you don’t feel at the border point Treriksrøysa between Norway, Finland and Russia in the no man’s land, the place is strictly guarded. All three countries work together in surveillance.
You should definitely resist the temptation to walk around the border point, a layered pile of stones, since you are already crossing the border without permission. The environment is a bit confusing, you should definitely only be with perfect navigation and good visibility.
Communication across the Norway-Russia border
It is forbidden to call or speak across the border. Only if the border commissioner grants permission for this is allowed. It is also forbidden to insult people over to Russia or to verbally aggressively meet them.
Of course, it is allowed to greet across the border or return a greeting. Even in an emergency, first aid must be provided, and the limit may even be exceeded. However, this must be reported immediately to the next patrol, the police or the border commissioner.
Regional efforts to ensure good coexistence on the Norway-Russia border
On both sides of the border, many people strive to work well together across system boundaries. That is not always easy. That is why clear rules are needed, which we guests should accept as a matter of course. Because we are guests and can be here. Compliance with these rules strengthens mutual respect.