Finland has announced its intention to close the Russian consulate general in Turku from October 1. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the decision was taken in response to similar actions of Moscow.
On July 6, Russia closed the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg. At the same time, nine employees of the country’s embassy in Moscow were expelled. The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Helsinki of an “anti-Russian” policy and “pumping Western weapons into Kyiv”.
In June, Finland expelled nine Russian diplomats: the authorities considered that they violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Then the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a “strong protest” to Finnish Ambassador Antti Helantera. The ministry also said that the parameters of the republic’s NATO membership being discussed “pose a threat to the security” of the country, while the “encouragement of the Kyiv regime to go to war” “means clearly hostile actions” by Russia.
Diplomatic relations between the states deteriorated after the bailiff service arrested the building and site of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Helsinki in April. Finnish authorities also arrested seven apartments where Russian diplomats lived.
Before that, Finland froze the center’s accounts at Nordea Bank, to which Russia responded by freezing the accounts of Finnish diplomatic missions.
On July 1, the Foreign Ministry withdrew its consent to the work of the St. Petersburg branch of the Finnish Consulate General in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk, as well as closed the office of the Russian Embassy in Lappeenranta. In response, Helsinki began reviewing the legal status of the Russian consulate on the Åland Islands, which is intended to oversee the demilitarized status of the archipelago.
On July 10, restrictions on the entry of Russian businessmen, real estate owners and students came into force in Finland. From the end of September 2022, the country closed entry for Russians with tourist visas.