Russia Will Not Accept Deported Refugees from Norway

During his annual press conference today the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told NRK that Russia will not accept back the deported refugees from Norway. 

– We talk about the people who came to Russia with an intention either to work or to visit relatives. They had not declared that their real purpose of the visit was to flee to Norway, said Lavrov. 

– This means that they had deliberately provided false information about the purpose of their visit to Russia. This is why we do not want to take these people back.

In the course of the press conference Lavrov also pointed out that there is an ongoing discussion between Russia and Norway on this issue. The main goal is to reach the compromise which both countries will accept, said Lavrov.

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The stream of refugees from Russia through Murmansk and Storskog exploded in October. Since then Norway has made several attempts to warn the Russian side to take measures against the coming flow of refugees. However, Russia was unwilling to react, possibly due to the complicated relations with Norway in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, writes NRK. 

But when Norway started sending buses with asylum seekers back to Russia in the middle of winter without any money, Russia sent an official note to Norway with a clear message: it is neither proper nor safe to accept hundreds of people this way.   

The planned return of asylum seekers to Russia this weekend was temporarily postponed after the request of the Russians. Before that the Russian authorities informed Norway that they were willing to accept people who have legal residence in Russia or so-called multiple entry visa. In any case this number will not exceed 700 people. 200 of them were already sent back to Russia, writes NRK.

To be deported to native countries

Other 4800 asylum seekers are the residents of other countries than Russia and are to be deported to the countries of their origins, notes Norwegian Minister for Immigration and Integration Sylvi Listhaug, according to NRK.  

A likely outcome of the unresolved situation now might be a new meeting between the Norwegian immigration authorities and the Russian Migration Office. Such a meeting must take place in cooperation with the Russian Foreign Ministry, which coordinates all contacts between Russia and foreign countries at the moment.

– We are dependent on a good dialogue and effective cooperation with Russia on this issue. This is our primary vision, while Russia has a different view. We must just deal with this situation very professionally, comments Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

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