Finland expels nine Russian diplomats for intelligence activities
“Their actions are contrary to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations,” according to the statement which was published shortly after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto had his meeting with the Government’s Foreign and Security Ministerial Committee on Tuesday.
The meeting discussed the current security situation in Europe amid Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine and the explosion of the Kahovka dam Tuesday.
Finland’s Foreign Ministry will inform the Russian Ambassador to Helsinki about the names of the nine people to be expelled.
Neither the President’s Office nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has elaborated on which intelligence activities the nine Embassy employees are accused of in Finland. The country’s Security and Intelligence police writes in a tweet that the move “is a significant setback for Russian intelligence in Finland.”
Relations between Helsinki and Moscow are at a deep low, with diplomatic turmoil escalating. Last week, Russia revoke Finland’s permission to have a Consulate General in Petrozavodsk and a consulate office in Murmansk. Both diplomatic missions had kept the doors closed for a while when the formal decision came.
Not happy with NATO, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Responsibility for the current situation lies entirely with the Finnish side.”
Finland became a member of the North Atlantic Alliance on April 4 this year.