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Finnish Prime Minister: Russian Real Estate Poses Security Threat to Our Country

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Photo: Finnish Prime Minister: Russian Real Estate Poses Security Threat to Our Country. Source: fb-OrpoPetteri
Photo: Finnish Prime Minister: Russian Real Estate Poses Security Threat to Our Country. Source: fb-OrpoPetteri

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said that Russian real estate in Finland poses a security threat because it is located near key infrastructure, and his country is currently preparing steps to address potential security risks.

Petteri Orpo said this in an interview with Bloomberg.

For years, Finland has allowed Russians to buy land and real estate without security checks. But after Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine in 2022, the Scandinavian country realised the risk that such Russian assets could be used against Finland.  

"We see it as a potential security threat that we have Russian and other foreign property owners, owners of land near critical infrastructure. Common sense dictates that if we see a real threat to national security, we must act,’ said Petteri Orpo.

Finland is currently drafting a law on a complete ban on the purchase of real estate. According to the preliminary text, the ban will apply to citizens of states whose homeland ‘has violated the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of another state and may threaten the security of Finland’.

No decisions on such measures have been made yet, and it is too early to say ‘whether we can retroactively strengthen them or expropriate property,’ Orpo said.

He added that this is a very complicated legal issue, and that is why it is necessary to carefully analyse how to proceed.

Finnish media have reported on suspicious properties over the years, including heavily fortified locations with helipads, nearly empty loss-making hotels kept afloat by Russian-linked owners, and properties located near key railway interchanges and communication lines. 

‘The risk is that such facilities could be used to cause harm or be used as a staging area for some larger operation,’ Orpo said.

‘Russia has led to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, the European Union is fully united in supporting Ukraine against Russia, and now Europe has finally woken up and started to build up its own defence capabilities,’ the Finnish Prime Minister stressed. 

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