Kirkenes town mayor wants Nikel consulate office
The mayor of the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes, Linda Beate Randal, has written a letter to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, asking him to ease the visa application prosess for Nikel citizens by opening a Norwegian consulate office in the Russian border town.
The Norwegian-Russian twin cities, Kirkenes and Nikel, are situated 50 kilometers apart. However, while the physical distance is small, the obstacles of crossing the border are huge. If Nikel citizens would like to go to Kirkenes, they must first do the three hour drive to Murmansk and the Norwegian General Consulate to receive their visa.
Recently the Mayor of the municipality of Sør-Varanger, Linda Beate Randal, wrote a letter to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, asking him to open up an office in Nikel for visa applications. It could be an office which is open for some days every week, Randal says to local newspaper Sør-Varanger Avis.
Norwegian and Russian authorities are discussing the establishment of a border zone visa. Randal writes in her letter that this could be a temporary arrangement while the twin cities await the establishment of the border zone visa.