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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday 

A ban on Russian ships, free ferries and the PM visiting the north are among the main news stories from Norway on Monday. 

Boats docked in Bergen.
Read about the PM visiting the north, a ban on Russian ships and more in today's roundup of important news. Pictured are boats in Bergen. Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Port ban on Russian vessels takes effect 

Over the weekend, the ban on Russian ships in Norwegian ports came into effect. Vessels from Russia will no longer be able to stop at Norwegian ports as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. 

The ban applies to ships over 500 gross tons that sail commercially, yachts, recreational ships and other boats. 

Russian ships that have been re-registered under another country’s flag after February 24th, the day Russia invaded, will also be included in the ban. The Norwegian government has said

Fishing vessels are exempt, and the ban only applies to mainland Norway and not Svalbard. 

READ MORE: Norway to close ports to Russian ships

PM to visit Kirkenes 

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will visit Kirkenes in northern Norway, close to the border with Russia. 

The PM will visit several businesses and discuss the effects of sanctions against Russia on the border town. 

Later in the day, he will meet with the Barents Secretariat and representatives of the Russian community in Kirkenes.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Norway’s border with Russia

Low passenger ferry routes to become free

All ferry routes with less than 100,000 passengers annually will become free from July 1st, Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum announced on Sunday. 

The minister said that the ferry routes becoming free would hopefully attract more people to rural areas. 

“For many of the small island and coastal communities, this will be a big boost,” Vedum told public broadcaster NRK

“This will help the small business with high transport costs, mother or father who is a commuter or the tourist going there for the summer. It creates more activity,” he added. 

The new rules could mean as many as 39 routes could become free of charge, according to NRK. The government has also said it was working towards its goal of making national ferry routes 50 percent cheaper by 2025. 

Oslo calls on the state for ‘missed’ Covid money

Oslo may have missed more than one billion kroner of state Covid aid, newspaper Aftenposten reports.  

The City Council has said that the city has 250 million kroner in uncovered costs from 2020 and 850 million from 2021. 

During the pandemic, the government made a commitment to ensuring that it would cover the bill for extra expenses incurred throughout the pandemic. 

City Councillor for Finance, Einar Wilhelmsen, has written to the government requesting the money. 

“It is not about whether Oslo has received more or less than others. It is about us not being able to cover the costs that no one disagrees that we have had,” Wilhelmsen told Aftenposten. 

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For members


Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

More than 160 SAS flights from Norway cancelled, three oil fields closed due to a strike and the population set to shrink in rural parts of the country. This and other headlines from Norway on Tuesday. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

SAS strike unlikely to be short-lived

Unfortunately for travellers booked with the airline, the current SAS strike looks set to rumble on for a while as there are two large issues pilots’ unions and the company will need to find consensus on before strike action ends, newspaper VG reports. 

“There are no reassuring signs that it will be short-lived. They have been negotiating for several days, with several postponements, and yet they did not agree,” aircraft analyst Jacob Pedersen from Danish Sydbank told VG. 

Pilots employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, announced strike action because they were unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

READ MORE: What the SAS strike means for travellers in Norway

At least 163 flights out of Norway were cancelled due to the SAS strike

On Tuesday, 163 services from SAS out of Norway were cancelled due to a strike, according to an overview from newspaper VG.

Of the cancellations, 79 were overseas departures, while 84 were domestic flights. 

Yesterday 900 pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark went on strike after the company and unions failed to reach an agreement by the Monday midday deadline. 

The airline said that up to 30,000 passengers per day could be affected. 

READ MORE: What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Population in rural Norway to shrink by 2050

Most rural municipalities in Norway will begin to shrink in population by 2050, while the cities and suburbs will continue to grow. 

This is according to a projection by national statistics agency Statistics Norway. 

Norway’s population is expected to grow from 5.4 million to 6 million by 2050 and 6.2 million by 2100. 

“The growth in the population in the next decades will be unevenly distributed across the country. Viken county is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2050, while Nordland is expected to shrink by 2 percent,” Statistics Norway researcher Sturla Løkken said. 

Three oil fields to go on strike

Union Lederne has taken 74 members out on strike, which will lead to the shut down of the Gudrun, Oseberg sør and Oseberg Øst oil fields. 

More oil fields could close on Wednesday when 117 more workers at three other oil fields could go on strike. 

According to Norwegian Oil and Gas, 13 percent of gas exports abroad will be lost due to the strike.