EU exporters can now resume traffic on the Saimaa Canal linking Finland to Russia, despite EU sanctions on trade with Vladimir Putin’s regime following its attack on Ukraine.
The EU sanctions do not apply to traffic on the canal, according to Saimaa Canal Delegate Minna Kivimaki.
The 43-kilometer-long canal is almost evenly split between the Finnish and Russian sides.
This is very important for Finnish exporters, especially for forest and wood processing companies.
On the ground, EU sanctions have prevented freight train deliveries from Russia to Finland from resuming on Saturday, Russia Railways announced.
Finland’s national rail operator VR Group said it would no longer accept freight trains from Russia.
The Russian railway company added in a statement on messaging app Telegram that it was in talks with China about sending additional freight trains there.
Finland, an EU but non-NATO country, expects Russia to carry out a disinformation campaign in the coming months to influence the Nordic country’s debate over joining NATO, Finland’s security service said on Tuesday.
Polls show Finland’s willingness to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, showing for the first time a majority in favor of becoming a member of a western defense pact.
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“Public authorities must secure the conditions for full and honest debate without intimidation, and ensure that outsiders cannot influence security policy decisions made by Finland.”
But Supo saw no significant change in the Russian operation targeting Finland, the agency added.
Both Haavisto and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto argued that Finland should not hold a referendum on NATO membership, as it could easily become a target for outside influence.
Russia has called its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbors. Kyiv and the West regard this as a pretext for an unwarranted invasion.