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Russia-Finland Trade Has Fallen 83% in Two Years

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankRussian-Finnish border at the Nuijamaa crossing
Russian-Finnish border at the Nuijamaa crossing - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.02.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia-Finland trade has decreased by 83% in two years, and the severance of ties harms the Finnish economy, Russian Ambassador to Helsinki Pavel Kuznetsov told Sputnik.
"As a result of the destruction of trade and economic ties, trade turnover between our countries over the past two years has decreased almost sixfold (from approximately 12 billion euros [$12.92 billion] to 2 billion euros). If recently our country was one of Finland’s three leading trade partners, then now it is already in the second ten," Kuznetsov said.
Relations between Russian and Finland are completely destroyed as the political dialogue is frozen, and business ties and contacts between regions, cities and municipalities, and public organizations of the countries are completely severed, the ambassador said.
"There has never been such an 'iron curtain' between our neighboring countries, perhaps, not even in the 20s and 30s of the last century on the eve of the Second World War. The presidential election in Finland, judging by the discussions of candidates for this post and the general socio-political atmosphere in the country, is unlikely to significantly change the situation for the better," Kuznetsov concluded.
The second round of the Finnish presidential election is slated for February 11. Ex-Prime Minister Alexander Stubb from the ruling center-right National Coalition Party will face former Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto of the Green League party. They received 27.2% and 25.8% of votes, respectively, during the first round on January 28. Both candidates support sealing borders with Russia, imposing sanctions against Moscow and assisting Kiev militarily.
In this handout photo released by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attends her weekly briefing in Moscow, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.02.2024
Russia Says Finland Avoiding Dialogue on Border Issues
Russian-Finnish relations have deteriorated significantly since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 and Finland became a member of NATO in April 2023. Finland steadily distanced itself from Russia by hosting NATO military exercises, expanding US forces' access to areas and facilities on its territory, erecting barriers on the border with Russia as well as closing all checkpoints on its border, among other things.
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