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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Russia makes diplomatic response to Nordic country

The move comes as a result of “confrontational actions” by the authorities of Finland, Moscow says

Russia is withdrawing its consent for the operation by neighbor Finland of its consulate general in St Petersburg and is expelling nine Finnish diplomats, its foreign ministry has announced. 

Finland’s general consulate will cease its activities in Russia’s second largest city from October 1, Moscow said in a statement on Thursday.


Finnish ambassador to Russia Antti Helantera was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and informed about the decisions, made in response to “confrontational actions” by Helsinki, the statement read. 

In June, Finland expelled nine diplomats at the Russian embassy in Helsinki, accusing them of performing intelligence missions “contrary to the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.”

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The Russian Consulate in Mariehamn, Aland, Finland, June 1, 2022.
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The Finnish ambassador was also told that the Nordic country’s entry into NATO in April was “a threat to Russia’s security,” Moscow said. Helsinki claimed that it abandoned its long-standing policy of non-alignment and applied to join the US-led military bloc due to concerns over the Russian military operation in Ukraine, launched in February 2022. 


“Encouraging the Kiev regime to go to war [with Russia] and pumping it with Western weapons” were “clearly hostile actions” by Helsinki that couldn’t be left unanswered, the statement added.

Finland, which shares a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, has recently been disrupting economic ties and human contact between the two countries, discriminating against Russians when issuing entry visas and creating obstacles for the regular activities of Russian diplomats, Moscow has said.

The course pursued by Helsinki is aimed at “breaking down the mutually beneficial Russian-Finnish relations that have been formed over decades,” it pointed out.

Responding to the latest move, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on social media that Moscow’s measures were a “harsh and asymmetric” reaction to Finland’s expulsion of diplomats. Helsinki is preparing a “similar measure” in response, he said, suggesting that the Consulate General of Russia in Turku could be shut.


July 06, 2023 at 09:26PM

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