The Russian Federation has frozen the accounts of Finnish diplomatic missions
The Russian Federation has frozen the accounts of the Finnish Embassy in Moscow and the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg, said Pekka Gaavisto, head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry.
Finland has sent a note of protest to the Russian Federation, but has yet to receive an official explanation.
"The accounts of Finnish missions in Russia have been frozen and cannot be used at the moment," Gaavisto said at a press conference today, Wednesday, 17 May. He added that Finland had been in contact with the Russian authorities on the matter.
"A note of protest has been sent to Russia in this regard. Russia has not yet provided an official explanation as to why the accounts have been frozen," Gaavisto said.
The country's foreign minister also noted that Finland has not frozen the accounts of Russian diplomatic missions in Finland. Therefore, "it cannot be said that this is some kind of reaction to the measures taken against Russia," Gaavisto said.
But he suggested that "the reason for this is probably that the European Union sanctions on financial transactions have created inconvenience for Russian missions in the West."
Gaavisto explained that other EU countries have also faced similar problems related to payment transactions in Russia. "However, to the best of our knowledge, the restrictions on Finland are among the strictest," he said.
So far, Finnish diplomats have been able to carry out their activities in Russia normally thanks to cash reserves. "But it is clear that the situation, if it lasts long, may lead to the need to find new solutions," Gaavisto said.
As a reminder, Finland has previously expelled employees of the Russian embassy for spying and collecting important security information on Finnish territory for several years. Other Ukrainian partner states did the same, expelling over 440 employees of Russian embassies and consulates from their territories.
The expulsion of diplomats was the partners' response to the subversive spying activities of Russian embassy employees. The action dealt a blow to Russia's ability to pursue aggressive policies, blowing up peace and security in Europe and obstructing aid to Ukraine.
Also today, the Czech Republic said it plans to take back Russian properties in Prague and Brno.