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Norway plans new measures to stop Russians buying property unchecked

A house in Norway
A house in Norway Copyright HO/AP2005
Copyright HO/AP2005
By Sertac Aktan
Published on
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Authorities in both Norway and Finland have noticed a trend of buyers connected to the Kremlin snapping up property near sensitive military sites.

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Norway is considering steps to curb real estate sales to Russian nationals — and is looking to a recently implemented Finnish policy for inspiration.

Finland's new housing regulations mandate that non-EU and non-EEA foreigners must secure a permit to purchase property within its borders. The policy is designed in part to address concerns that Russians with ties to President Vladimir Putin’s administration have been buying properties in strategic areas.

Similar anxieties have surfaced in Norway, where investigative reports have shown Russians connected to the Kremlin acquiring cabins near crucial military sites.

The Norwegian government has now signalled that it is developing a pre-approval mechanism for property purchases, akin to Finland’s approach.

Emilie Enger Mehl, Norway’s Minister of Justice and Public Security, commented that it was high time to take action.

"It has been an important issue for the government ever since we took office in the autumn of 2021 to strengthen the regulations, put national security higher, and ensure that we have the opportunity to, for example, stop property sales if necessary."

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