13:32 GMT07 May 2021
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    According to Norwegian media reports, police chief of Norway’s Finnmark province near the Russian border wants the right to temporarily shut down border crossings to prevent a growth in new refugee arrivals.

    KIRKENES (Norway) (Sputnik) The police chief of Norway’s Finnmark province near the Russian border wants the right to temporarily shut down border crossings to prevent a growth in new refugee arrivals, Norwegian media reported Wednesday.

    "With last fall’s experiences fresh in memory, it will in our opinion be necessary to investigate the possibility of physically closing the border for a period based on a safety assessment, and that this authority is considered to be assigned to the chief," Ellen Katrine Haetta said as quoted by the NRK broadcaster.

    In written remarks to the country’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security seeking the temporary border closure rights, Haetta called for immigration law amendments allowing officials to reject asylum applications before migrants arrive in Norway.

    Around 200 out of the over 5,500 asylum seekers who crossed the Russian-Norwegian border last year have been deported to Russia. Oslo plans to deport the majority of the arrivals on grounds that immigration law amendments afford that right because Russia is considered a safe country.

    Russia agreed to accept up to 300 holders of valid permits to stay in Russia, Norwegian justice and security officials said last week.


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