Finland closes the Russian Consulate General from October 1

Finland announced its intention to close the Russian consulate in Turku from October 1. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the decision was made in response to similar actions by Moscow.

On July 6, Russia closed the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg. At the same time, nine employees of the country’s embassy in Moscow were expelled. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Helsinki of “anti-Russian” policy and “pumping Kiev with Western weapons”.

In June, Finland expelled nine Russian diplomats because authorities deemed them to have violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Subsequently, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its “definite protest” to the Finnish ambassador, Antti Helanteria. The ministry also stated that the discussed parameters of the republic’s accession to NATO “pose a threat to the security” of the country, and that “inducing the Kiev regime to war” “means clearly hostile actions” by Russia.

Diplomatic relations between the states deteriorated after bailiffs seized the building and grounds of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Helsinki in April. Finnish authorities also seized seven apartments where Russian diplomats lived.

Earlier, Finland froze the accounts of the center in the Nordea bank, and Russia froze the accounts of Finnish diplomatic missions.

On 1 July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs withdrew permission for the work of the St. Petersburg consulates general of Finland in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk, and also closed the office of the Russian embassy in Lappeenranta. In response, Helsinki proceeded to review the legal status of the Russian consulate in Åland, which is to monitor the archipelago’s demilitarized state.

On July 10, restrictions on the entry of Russian businessmen, property owners and students came into force in Finland. From the end of September 2022, the country closed entry to Russians with a tourist visa.


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