Last week, it became known that parts the border fence with a price tag of 4 million NOK ($500,000) had been set up in violation of Norway's border agreements with Russia. According to the convention that regulates the 196-kilometer-long national border between Norway and Russia, neither state is allowed to build anything within the four-meter-wide zone on either side of the boundary line.
"This [faulty placement of the fence] is a combination of different factors. We have not taken time to apportion blame or liability. We have only ascertained facts and agreed on where the border should go. Now we are about to take technical measures and make an adjustment to the lower part of the fence," Robert Lalla, Senior Advisor with the border and immigration section of Norway's Police Directorate, told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.
Member of Parliament Kirsti Bergstø, representing the border county of Finnmark, called the situation embarrassing.
"I believe this event should be used as an opportunity to tear down the whole fence and remove it once and for all. Then we can use the resources available to build a new border station at Storskog to meet the actual demand," Kirsti Bergstø told NRK.
Earlier, Sør-Varanger Mayor Rune Rafaelsen said that the construction of the fence was irrelevant in terms of foreign policy, while head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat Lars Fordal claimed that the construction left a Cold War aftertaste, according to NRK. Additionally, Former Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg said that the country's construction of a steel fence on its border with Russia was "an ugly albeit very symbolic action against Moscow."