War in Ukraine: Finland seizes war-capable goods at Russian border

Finnish customs said it had seized goods that could boost “industrial and military capabilities” at the border, as well as other goods subject to international sanctions.

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LFinnish customs announced on Wednesday that they had seized goods at the border with Russia that could strengthen Moscow’s “industrial and military capacities” and other goods subject to international sanctions.

The seizures come as Finland mulls possible Russian visa restrictions, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions.

More than 2,500 checks were carried out between July 22 and 27 and nearly a hundred similar cases were detected, the customs authority said. About 20 of these cases are “under preliminary examination,” the customs administration said in a statement.

The controls made it possible to detect various luxury products hit by European sanctions as well as goods that may have a military use “such as tools used in maritime traffic”, specified the authority.

Drones and still secret objects

“There were also drones as well as objects that we cannot comment on at this time,” customs enforcement director Mikko Grönberg told AFP. The growing number of Russian tourists to Finland has caused uproar in the Nordic country, with many saying tourism should be curtailed due to the war in Ukraine.

There were more than 185,000 border crossings in July, compared to 125,000 in June, figures still below pre-covid levels.

Last week, the opposition Conservative Party of Finland proposed to halt the issuance of new tourist visas for Russian nationals. President Sauli Niinistö plans to raise the matter with the government on Thursday as the proposal appears to enjoy broad support in parliament.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that Russia would “react very negatively” if there were to be a visa restriction.

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