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Norway suspends deportation of refugees to Russia

January 24, 5:40 UTC+3 OSLO
The decision to stop the deportation was made following the request of the Russian authorities, Norwegian Foreign Minister said
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© AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos

OSLO, January 24 /TASS/. The authorities of Norway temporarily stopped the deportation of asylum-seekers, who arrived last autumn to the country from the territory of Russia, back to Russia, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said in an interview with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

He said the decision to stop the deportation was made following the request of the Russian authorities.

According to Brende, Russia wants to discuss the issues related to the coordination of procedures for the return (of refugees). Norway understands this and the negotiations will be launched next week.

Currently, the deportation of refugees across the check point at Storskog has been suspended until a further notice, he said.

He added that, the main reason for the temporary suspension of deportation of refugees, announced by the Russian side, is the need to ensure the safety of the procedure. They parties are discussing a possibility of sending migrants to Murmansk and Moscow by plane.

As Brenda said, the presence of mutual understanding between the two parties is vital to resolve the situation with the refugees on the border between the two states refugees. The minister stressed that Russia in accordance with the agreement on the readmission is ready to receive persons having a legitimate reason to stay on its territory - residence permits, long-term and multiple-entry visas. Now the discussion concerns the return of the asylum-seekers that have such documents.

This week the Norwegian immigration authorities began to expel another group of refugees who arrived from the territory of Russia from the country.

However, of more than 100 people who were brought to the center for asylum seekers in the northern municipality of Sor-Varanger (on the border with Russia’s Murmansk region) only 13 were carried to Russia in minibuses. Norwegian police named various reasons, but as it turns out now it was mainly due to lack of proper coordination between the two sides.

Last year, more than 5,500 asylum seekers came to Norway via the so-called Arctic route, passing through Moscow, Murmansk and Nikel. The refugees mainly came from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The majority are citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

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