Thursday, October 5, 2023

How safe is the payment of the Finnish embassies in Russia now? Foreign Ministry has commented like this


According to the communication planner of the Ministry of External Affairs, the situation has still not had any impact on salary payments.

Finnish embassies in Russia ground to a halt in late April when Russia announced it had frozen their bank accounts. Finland has two operational missions in Russia: the Embassy in Moscow and the Consulate General in Saint Petersburg.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) told a news conference on Wednesday that the missions were to operate mainly on a cash register basis. According to the Foreign Minister, the operation in Russia will continue despite the challenges.

– There is no imminent situation in which the consulate in St. Petersburg or the embassy in Moscow would have to be closed, Haavisto said.

Read more: Russia freezes bank accounts of Finnish embassies – Haavisto: a note on the matter

What does the practical work of embassies look like in an unstable situation? Foreign Ministry Communications Designer Taneli Dobrovolsky commented briefly on the matter via email.

– Our representative offices continue their original work. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland continues to investigate the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. We await clarification from the Russian Foreign Ministry on the conditions for continuation of banking services.

Read more: Russia expert on freezing of Finnish accounts: “Unheard of, it’s never happened”

We still have to depend on cash.

– Other possible payment methods including using cash have been examined in the event of prolonged disruption of banking services at our representative offices.

Dobrovolsky says the situation has still not taken effect on salary payments.

The Finnish Consulate General in Saint Petersburg was targeted by the Russian actions.

The Finnish Consulate General in Saint Petersburg was targeted by the Russian actions. Photo: Martti Kanulainen/Lahtikuva

Like Havisto, Dobrovolsky appealed to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

– We wish that, in accordance with Article 25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the receiving country should in every possible way facilitate the performance of the functions of our embassies.

Read more: Is account freezing Russia’s revenge? This is how the former ambassador to Moscow sees it

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously closed offices in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk due to a reduction in workload due to the invasion of the Russian war. In relation to Moscow and St. Petersburg, similar measures are not in place.

– At the moment, there is no need to think about the temporary closure of representative offices, says Dobrovolsky.

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