SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


King Harald visits troops on strategic border

King Harald of Norway visited troops guarding the country’s border with Russia, accompanied by the Chief of Defence. 

On Monday, 13 March, His Majesty arrived in the most north-eastern point of Norway, where the Sør-Varanger Garrison is tasked with guarding what has become one of the most watched borders. 

The King’s first stop on the 198 kilometres border was Høybuktmoen Camp, west of Kirkene. He met with Lieutenant Colonel Michael Spanne Rozmara, chief of the Hunter Battalion, and Sergeant Ove Elsaug, who explained the mission of the Garrison. 

Soldiers assigned to the post are tasked with patrolling the borderline, for which they use boats in the summer and skis and snowmobiles in winter since the area of the border is close to the north pole and freezes easily. 

King Harald also spoke with Police Chief Ellen Katrine Hætta and Border Enforcement Commissioner Jens Arne Høilund, who told him about the soldiers’ tasks on behalf of their departments, such as border controls and the enforcement of the 1949 bilateral agreement. 

After eating lunch with the soldiers, officials and some of the civilian employees stationed at Høybuktmoen Camp, His Majesty was briefed on the healthcare challenges of guarding that particular border by the medical staff stationed there. 

The second stop of the day was Jarfjord Border Station, where the monarch was briefed on the post’s activities by soldiers declaring that they are “proud of their mission” and told him that “the service gave them a great experience and important knowledge and training,” according to the Norwegian Royal Household.

Sør-Varanger Garrison is under the command of Finnmark Land Defence and is divided into five companies, each tasked with guarding a section of the border. 

The Russia-Finland border is currently one of the most watched areas in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Contrary to its Scandinavian neighbours, Norway is not only a member of NATO but is also one of its founders. 

This makes the country a key strategic point, especially because it also grants entry to the Schengen area, something that the border patrol remarked during the King’s visit. 

"; n.innerHTML = "window._taboola = window._taboola || [];_taboola.push({mode:'thumbnails-a', container:'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement:'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix'});"; insertAfter(t, e); insertAfter(n, t) }injectWidgetByMarker('tbmarker');