August 13, 2022


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War in Ukraine: Finland seizes war material on Russian border

Finnish customs said it seized goods that could boost “industrial and military capabilities” at the border, as well as other items subject to international sanctions.

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LFinnish customs announced on Wednesday that it had seized goods that could bolster Moscow’s “industrial and military capabilities” and other items subject to international sanctions along Russia’s border.

The seizures come as Finland mulls possible Russian visa restrictions in the wake of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions.

More than 2,500 checks were carried out between July 22 and 27 and nearly a hundred such cases were detected, the customs authority said. About 20 of these cases are “under preliminary examination”, the customs administration said in a statement.

The Commission noted that the restrictions made it possible to detect various luxury goods hit by European sanctions, as well as items with a military use, such as “equipment used in maritime transport”.

Drones and more secret items

“There were also drones and objects that we cannot comment on at the moment,” customs enforcement director Mikko Grönberg told AFP. A growing number of Russian tourists to Finland has caused uproar in the Nordic country, where many have said tourism should be curtailed because of the war in Ukraine.

There were more than 185,000 border crossings in July, compared with 125,000 in June, still below pre-Covid levels.

Last week, Finland’s opposition Conservative Party proposed to stop issuing new tourist visas to Russian citizens. President Sauli Niinistö plans to raise the issue with the government on Thursday, as the plan enjoys broad support in parliament.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that Russia would “react very negatively” if there were visa restrictions.

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