The brutal and unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to serious discussions about expanding NATO and frequent examinations of existing European borders. Russia has land borders with fourteen countries, but just five of them are currently NATO members. Ironically, the longest unchanged border is between Norway and Russia.
Norway’s land border with Russia is just 123 miles (198 km) long and is the northernmost portion of the NATO-Russia land border. Over the years, Norway has maintained a careful attitude toward their neighbor. In the fact, the Russo-Norwegian border hasn’t changed since 1826 and that Norway is the only neighbor with which Russia has never been at war.
In 1950, Norway passed the so-called riksgrenseloven, a law designed to manage its border with the Soviet Union. The law, which is still on the books, specifically prohibits:
- “offensive behavior directed at the neighboring state or its authorities”;
- photographing the neighbor’s territory at a distance of up to 1,000 meters from the border; and
- conversation or other communication across the border between persons who do not have permission from the relevant authority.