Saturday, September 23, 2023

Russia’s actions were commented on in sattalo-halla-aho: “It makes sense to respond according to the principle of reciprocity”


The negotiating government did not know in advance about the freezing of the bank accounts of the Finnish missions in Russia.

According to Sari Essiah, chairman of the Christian Democrats, the issue of Finnish embassies’ bank accounts frozen by Russia should not have been hidden.

– I personally feel that there should be nothing to hide in these matters, commented Essayah in Säätytalo on Friday morning.

He himself said that he first read about it in a newspaper. Helsingin Sanomat reported the freezing of accounts on Wednesday, 17 May, after which Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (green) held a press conference on the matter. The Ministry of External Affairs was aware of the freezing of bank accounts as early as 27 April.

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

– In my opinion, openness is an extremely important starting point for a democratic society and thanks to a state power that is shedding light on this issue, Essayah thanked the media.

Basic Finns chairperson Riikka Pura said in Satitalo that she would not call for action by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hide information, as it is a matter related to Finland’s security policy.

– Of course, these should always be considered on a case-by-case basis, but, for example, I was not informed about this.

Jussi Halla-Aho (PS), an international and active member of the NATO-Finland table, also stopped by to comment on the matter. He portrayed Russia as an unpredictable gangster state.

– I think it would be appropriate to react to these moves according to the principle of reciprocity.

According to Hala-Aho, Finland is in a difficult position, as it interprets its international and bilateral commitments “very literally and strictly” unlike Russia.

– This puts Finland in the position of the underdog in such questions.

At the negotiating table of Hla-Aho, issues related to foreign and security policy and national defense are discussed, among other things.

According to him, for example, Russia has been present in the talks from the point of view of what kind of policy Finland should pursue and what kind of near future Finland should be prepared for when it comes to funding for national defence.

According to Halla-Aho, there is hardly any disagreement between the negotiating parties on these issues, but they have different views on the details. The deal is done. The differences relate, for example, to the question of whether to deduct first and whether something should be completely omitted from the deduction.

According to him, the government program does not take a position on serious issues, such as the freezing of bank accounts by Russia. In the background, however, is the effect of what kind of actor Russia has become.

The Foreign Ministry told IS on Thursday that both the freezing of bank accounts and Russia’s claims about Finland’s activities would be clarified with Russian authorities. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zharova said on Wednesday that the freezing of accounts was a retaliatory measure.

Russia claims that access to banking services by Russian embassies in Finland will be restricted.

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