Last October, the Russian North Fleet Choir was in Norway as honorary guests during the 75th WW2 liberation anniversary. However, the Russian choir is now refused entry to Norway to perform during the Barents Spektakel festival in Kirkenes in February, according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
Festival leader Luba Kuzovnikova says to NRK that this is the first time they see the cross-border cultural cooperation affected by political tension between Norway and Russia.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense have denied access. The invitation to the choir formally has to go through these two, as the choir is affiliated with the Russian military.
Wera Helstrøm, Communications Advisor at the MFA, says to NRK that the members of the choir would have to submit their fingerprints in order for them to acquire a Schengen visa; however, Russian authorities do not permit military staff to do so.