Hundreds of migrants are using children’s bicycles to cross a border – after officials banned people making the journey on foot.
Men are seen struggling to balance as they wobble on the tiny bikes at the checkpoint between Russia and Norway.
After making an epic journey from as far as Syria and Afghanistan, they make the final metres to Western Europe on two wheels at the Storskog border post.
They have been forced to use the loophole after Russian authorities outlawed crossings on foot, while under Norwegian law it is illegal to drive people into the country if they do not have the proper papers.
Locals near the Arctic Circle checkpoint are now doing a roaring trade selling a border crossing package for £130 – which includes a taxi ride from a nearby town to the border and bicycle hire.
Migrants buy children’s fold-up bicycles because they are cheaper than adult versions. They are then able to make the 130-yard journey across no-man’s land without breaking any laws.
Once across, piles of discarded bicycles build up outside the office of the Norwegian customs police and are cleared away every two or three days.
It’s that “cleared away” bit. Come on, this is sodding Russia we’re talking about. The second hand bike shop on the Russian side is owned by some group of the border guards. Who are the people who collect them from the Norwegians for a split of the take.
And if this isn’t the case already it bloody will be soon enough.