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'Don't urinate towards Russia' sign appears at border with Norway

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By Euronews with AFP
The sign first appeared in the extreme north-east of Norway and was first reported by the Barents Observer.
The sign first appeared in the extreme north-east of Norway and was first reported by the Barents Observer.   -   Copyright  Credit: Euronews
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A homemade sign at a popular tourist spot in northeast Norway has urged people to not urinate in the direction of Russia.

Written in English, the new sign orders people "no peeing towards Russia" or they will face a hefty fine.

The notice was placed on the banks of the Jakobselva River that separates Norway and Russia, next to an official sign informing that the area is under video surveillance by Norwegian border guards.

Norwegian border commissioner Jens-Arne Høilund has confirmed the reports that a sign had appeared near the village of Grense Jakobselv.

"The sign was probably put there by well-meaning people, to warn people passing through against offensive behaviour," Høilund said in a statement to AFP.

Under Norwegian law, it is illegal to commit "offensive behaviour at the border, directed at the neighbouring state or its authorities," with a potential fine of 3,000 kroner (around €290).

"Urinating in nature is not necessarily offensive but it depends on the point of view," Høilund added. "Here it falls under the law prohibiting offensive behaviour at the border."

The commissioner added that Russian authorities had never complained about anything that the sign warns against.

Norwegian media have previously reported incidents where citizens have been fined or stopped by border guards for illegally crossing the 198-kilometre border or throwing stones across the Jakobselva river towards Russia.

"It may seem harsh, but we enforce the border regulations without fail," said Høilund.