Norway to impose further travel sanctions on Russia citizens amid ongoing Russia-Ukraine war News
Wolfmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Norway to impose further travel sanctions on Russia citizens amid ongoing Russia-Ukraine war

The Norwegian government on Thursday shared its plans to restrict the entry of Russian citizens on tourist visas issued before Spring 2022 by Norway or by another European country. This measure is the latest in a series of ‘sanctions’ imposed by Norway in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, according to Emilie Enger Mehl, the Minister of Justice and Public Security.

The measure is projected to take effect at the end of this month and will prevent Russian tourists and other non-essential travelers from entering the Scandinavian country. Individuals falling within the scope of this measure will be refused entry.  However, this new measure is restricted only to the people whose visa was issued before the cut-off date in 2022, and there are exceptions for those Russian citizens who work or study in Norway, or who are visiting direct family members for bereavement or other related instances.

Russia did not accept this decision, calling it “purely discriminatory” and vowing to implement retaliatory measures, according to a report from local media:

Of course, such decisions cannot remain unanswered.We do not accept such a decision and regret that the Norwegian leadership has chosen this path of deterioration of our bilateral relations, which have not been shining with their quality lately, and not on our initiative.

Restrictions on the entry of Russian citizens into Norway were first introduced following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in early 2022. Though Norway is not an EU member state, it developed its regulations in line with the EU’s measures and the policies adopted by Finland vis-à-vis Russian tourism. In March 2022, Norwegian authorities introduced several sanctions against Russia into their domestic law, including the discontinuation of certain visa facilitation arrangements.  Since then, tourist visas have not been generally granted.

In response, Russia responded with similar visa restrictions and ceased expedited visa procedures for Norwegian citizens seeking entry.

Commenting on Thursday’s decision, Minister Mehl asserted that Norway was “standing by its allies and partners in reaction to Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine”. 

Norway’s measures are expected to enter into force on May 29.