Russia has frozen the bank accounts of the Finnish embassy in Moscow
Steph Deschamps / May 18, 2023
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced Wednesday that Russia has frozen the bank accounts of its embassy in Moscow and its consulate in St. Petersburg.
The accounts of the Finnish missions in Russia are frozen and cannot be used for the time being," Haavisto said at a press conference, adding that Finland was in contact with the Russian authorities.
A note on this issue has been sent to Russia," which has "not yet given an official explanation," he added.
Finland, which became the newest member of NATO in early April, said it was informed of the freezing of bank accounts on April 27.
The foreign minister said that Finland had not frozen the accounts of Russian diplomatic missions in Finland.
Therefore "you can't say that this is some kind of reaction to the measures taken against Russia," he said.
The freeze follows the revelation by the Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum that Moscow has taken control of its Russian subsidiary, following a decree by Vladimir Putin. Fortum had announced on Thursday that it was writing down all its Russian assets, after having already made accounting provisions for risk.
Regarding the freezing of bank accounts, Pekka Haavisto estimated that "the reason is probably, to some extent, that the European Union sanctions on financial transactions have turned into a headache for Russian missions in the West.