Norway closes its borders to Russian trucks and ships, but not to fishing boats

From Saturday May 7, 2022, Russian ships and trucks will no longer be allowed to enter Norway, as the Scandinavian country introduces a fifth wave of sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian-flagged ships will be banned from all ports in mainland Norway – including ships over 500 gross tons that sail commercially in international traffic, yachts and some pleasure craft and pleasure boats. Likewise, Russian road transport vehicles will not be allowed to enter Norway.

However, fishing vessels are exempt from the ban. They will still be allowed to go to shipyards, just like salvage and research vessels.

According to the Ministry of Fisheries, the reason why fishing vessels will not be banned is that Norway wants to protect fishing cooperation in the Barents Sea and bilateral operational cooperation in search and rescue.

Historically, many Russian fishing vessels have landed their catches in northern Norwegian ports.

Additionally, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard in Norway, which operates under a 1920s treaty allowing expanded foreign access, will also be exempt from the ban.

In line with European Union policy, the latest sanctions imposed by Norway on the Russian Federation include an increased number of its goods subject to export controls; greater restrictions on the import of coal and other goods considered important sources of income for Russia; prohibited support for Russian state bodies and state-owned/state-controlled companies, including the media; and a tougher ban on taking deposits from Russian individuals and companies.

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