Norway to Block Entry for Most Russian Tourists

    Norway to Block Entry for Most Russian Tourists
    Above: Norwegian Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl talks to the media on March 28, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium. Image copyright: Thierry Monasse/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Norway on Thursday said it will further tighten the entry rules for Russian travelers in response to "Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine."

    • As described by an official government statement: "Russian citizens whose purpose is tourism and other non-essential travel will be rejected upon entry across the external border. The restriction applies both to those who have visas issued by Norway before visa practices were restricted in the spring of 2022 and to visas issued by other Schengen countries."

    The Spin

    Anti-Russia narrative

    Norway's decision to bar the majority of Russians is a direct response to the Kremlin's increased intelligence-gathering activities. There are concerns that Moscow may seek to sabotage in European countries. The decision to strengthen the entrance criteria aligns with Norway's commitment to supporting allies and partners.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Unfortunately, Norway has chosen to further deteriorate bilateral ties with Russia. Moscow has no intention of responding in a similar manner. While the Kremlin will not prohibit Norwegian citizens from entering Russia, it will implement punitive measures in response. Norway's hostile move will have repercussions.

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