Norway closes its embassy in Astana

ASTANA (TCA) — The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana has been closed. An ambassador based in Oslo will be responsible for Norway’s relations to all the Central-Asian countries. The appointment should be clear soon, the Embassy said on its website.

It also said that visa related issues for citizens of Kazakhstan are handled by the Lithuanian embassy in Astana, or their consulate in Almaty. Visa related issues for citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are handled by the German embassies in Bishkek, Dushanbe and Ashgabat respectively.

Residence permits for citizens of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are handled by the Norwegian embassy in Moscow while the Norwegian Embassy in Baku will handle residence permits for citizens of Turkmenistan.

The Norwegian government earlier said that in 2016, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will make some changes to Norway’s diplomatic presence abroad. The embassies in Astana (Kazakhstan), Sofia (Bulgaria), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe) will be closed, while Norway’s presence in Haiti and southern India will be strengthened.

“The Ministry must adapt to the changes that are taking place in the world, taking into account the resources available to run missions abroad. The structure of the Foreign Service, and the location, size, tasks and priorities of the missions abroad must be constantly be assessed,” said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

Contact with the countries where embassies are to close will be maintained through other channels, the Norwegian government said.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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