A homemade sign at a popular tourist spot in northeast Norway urged people not to urinate in the direction of Russia.
Written in English, the new sign orders people to “not pee to Russia” or face a hefty fine.
The notice was placed on the banks of the Jakobselva River which separates Norway and Russia, next to an official sign advising that the area is under video surveillance by Norwegian border guards.
Norwegian border commissioner Jens-Arne Høilund confirmed reports that a sign appeared near the village of Grense Jakobselv.
“The sign was probably placed there by well-meaning people, warning passers-by against offensive behavior,” Høilund said in a statement to AFP.
Under Norwegian law, it is illegal to commit “offensive behavior at the border, directed against the neighboring state or its authorities”, punishable by a potential fine of 3,000 crowns (approximately € 290).
“Urinating in nature is not necessarily offensive but it depends on the point of view,” Høilund added. “Here it falls under the law prohibiting offensive behavior at the border.”
The commissioner added that Russian authorities had never complained about anything the sign warns about.
Norwegian media have previously reported incidents where citizens were fined or arrested by border guards for illegally crossing the 198-kilometer border or throwing stones on the Jakobselva River towards Russia.
“It may sound harsh, but we are enforcing border regulations without fail,” Høilund said.