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Syrian migrants cycle to Norway border


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Syrian migrants cycle to Norway border

While many migrants cram onto trains in Hungary or onto flimsy boats in the Mediterranean, it seems others have found an alternative route.

This year, around 170 people, mostly Syrians, have headed north to the Arctic Circle and from Russia, entered Norway – part of the passport-free Schengen area.

One taxi driver in the Russian mining town of Nikel said migrants have approached him for help.

“They asked me to take them across the border, but I refused. It would mean prosecution,” he said.

The driver added that he was offered around 500 euros to transport them.

Russian laws bar anyone from approaching the frontier on foot. It has reportedly prompted some migrants to buy a bike to cover the final stretch.

Those seeking asylum in Norway are flown to Oslo for registration, before their applications are considered.

Paul Nesse, a senior adviser at the Norwegian Refugee Council, said the numbers using the Arctic route may well rise from the current low levels.

“There are so many Syrians on the move,” he said.

“With the old ties between Syria and Russia, I expect there will be a few Syrian students in Russia who decide this is not a good time to go home.”

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