13:52 GMT12 April 2021
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    Russia's Federal Migration Service Deputy Head Nikolai Smorodin said that Moscow must accept people who entered Norway from the Russian territory if they have any kind of legal status in Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia may readmit from Norway those refugees who have permits to stay in the country, Russia's Federal Migration Service Deputy Head Nikolai Smorodin said Thursday.

    Oslo has deemed migrants who entered Norway through Russia ineligible for asylum, as they have arrived from a safe country. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ruled out taking them back as they provided false information to the Russian authorities, while the Norwegian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that Oslo and Moscow were holding constructive dialogue on the issue of refugees on their shared border.

    Smorodin told RIA Novosti that there had been two rounds of negotiations on the matter.

    "We were offered to take back them all, around 7,000. But we can only take those who have a legal status in Russia – those who worked, studied, had a residence permit and so on. Those who entered Norway with a tourist or a single-entry visa, we cannot take them back," Smorodin explained.

    Migrants receive instructions from a Norwegian police officer at Storskog boarder crossing station near Kirkenes, after crossing the boarder between Norway and Russia on November 16, 2015
    The next meeting should take place in a week.

    "We shall discuss the issues of readmission. According to agreements, we must accept people who entered [Norway] from the Russian territory if they have any kind of legal status in Russia, and we must accept them. The rest we shall send via transit, they have to arrange this with the country of origin," the official said.

    On Tuesday, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg called on Russia to be more critical when giving visas to refugees.


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    migrant crisis, refugees, Nikolai Smorodin, Norway, Russia
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