The reception center for asylum seekers in Finnmark will not be closed, but instead stand ready for another wave of Syrian asylum seekers from Russia.
Hundreds of migrants who dream of a life in the West have during the fall arrived in Finnmark's neighbouring Russian county Murmansk. Yet this year, only three have set foot on Norwegian soil from Russia. The Immigration Service (UDI) decided recently to maintain preparedness for the camp, as more asylum seekers are expected to come.
Around 5,500 migrants came across the Russian border in 2015. Most of them on bicycle as it is illegal to walk across the border. The contingency apparatus was built up while the asylum crisis escalated, and the camp was not completed until this year, when arrivals had stopped.
Now a growing number of migrants who want to go to Norway or Finland are on the Russian side of the border, wrote NRK Finnmark and the Russian website Flashnord in October.
- It's going to be many more than the estimated 200 who are in Murmansk now, if anyone succeed in getting asylum in Finland or Norway, said the Syrian/Russian interpreter Nazir Ahmad to NRK, having met several Syrian migrants in Murmansk recently.
Last year's flow of migrants stopped when Norway and Russia agreed to modify the wording of documents that asylum seekers received by Norwegian authorities.
So far this year the Russians have not let anyone through without a valid Schengen visa, although several have tried to get to Norway, reports the local newspaper iFinnmark.
Also Norway has build a 250 meter long fence at the border to prevent asylum seekers from entering illegally, but 251 meters away there is free passage. And beyond that there is 196 km of free passage along the border, where they probably will come running.
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