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Norway to close ports to Russia

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Norway to close ports to Russia

Norway Russia ports | Photo: Diego Delso

Norway is expected to close its ports to Russian vessels today, following the closure of their land border last week.

Today’s move follows broader EU sanctions against Russia for their invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war crimes. In addition, Norway will ban Russian imports of all items on the EU sanctions list. Still, Russian fishing vessels are exempt as Norway seeks to preserve cooperation in the Barents Sea.

Norway’s closing of borders and ports, and banning of Russian goods, is largely symbolic given their small land border and small trade balance compared to other countries. However, Oslo still hopes to reinforce Russia’s increasing isolation on the world stage.

Expect today’s port closure to have little immediate impact on Russian trade given the exemption on fishing vessels. However, this could soon change if the EU enacts their proposed ban on Russian oil and Norway follows suite. With much of their transportation infrastructure geared towards Western Europe, Russia would rely on ships to supply sanctioned oil to friendly Asian nations. Closed Norwegian ports could then have a serious impact as Russian ships would have fewer ports of call to refuel and repair along the long trek to Asia.

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