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23 May, 2024 12:31

Kremlin slams NATO state’s ban on Russian tourists

Norway has further tightened entry restrictions for citizens from its neighbor
Kremlin slams NATO state’s ban on Russian tourists

Moscow has decried the decision by Norwegian authorities to ban entry to the country for most Russian citizens, calling it discriminatory.

On Thursday, Oslo announced a further tightening of entry restrictions targeting Russian citizens in connection with the Ukraine conflict. In 2022, the Scandinavian country, which shares an Arctic border with Russia, stopped issuing tourist visas to Russians. From May 29, those who were granted visas before the initial tightening of regulations, or hold visas issued by another European country, will be barred from entering Norway for tourism and other ‘non-essential travel’.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the move as “extremely discriminatory” and warned that it will not remain unanswered. “We do not accept the decision and regret that the Norwegian leadership has chosen such a path,” he said, adding that relations between Russia and Norway will deteriorate further, and “not on Russia’s initiative.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry also threatened Oslo with retaliation and warned that the ban will completely destroy relations between the two countries. 

“Oslo’s new unfriendly move against Russian citizens is of a blatantly discriminatory nature... We assume that the Norwegian leadership realizes that such unfriendly steps will prompt retaliation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

Norway, a NATO member, shares a nearly 200km land border with Russia in the Arctic. The country initially imposed tourist visa restrictions against the neighboring state in spring 2022.

Although not a member of the EU, Norway has supported the bloc’s sanctions on Russia. In September, Oslo barred Russian-registered passenger cars from entering the country.