Russia has demanded a payment of up to $4.4 million from Norway for repairs because dozens of reindeer trotted across the border and grazed in one of its national parks, officials said Thursday.
At least 42 of the Arctic animals have made it through a fallen fence onto the Russian side of the frosty Pasvik Nature Reserve, according to Norway’s Directorate of Agriculture said in a statement.
Russian officials quickly sent their neighbor an estimated bill for the damage – estimates have ranged from $4,700 to a staggering $4.4 million, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Agriculture insiders said Thursday.
The range was based on the number of days the reindeer might have grazed on Russian land.
At least 40 of the 42 transboundary critters were recently returned to Norway and slaughtered for fear they might re-enter Russia, the outlet official said. The other two may be returned soon.
Norway also warned residents, some of whom herd reindeer in the north, against crossing animals across the border as tensions with Russia remain.
“It is strictly forbidden to cross the border into Russia, including for reindeer,” Norway’s Agriculture Directorate said in a statement last week, according to an AFP translation.
Norway is also working on repairing a 4.3-mile section of the reindeer fence, which is expected to be completed by October 1.
Earlier this month, Russia added Norway List of “unfriendly countries” for alleged attacks on Russian diplomats abroad – which soured relations with the West during the war in Ukraine.
Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.