Finland orders Russia to shut Turku Consulate General

Finland “will withdraw consent for Russia to operate its Consulate General” in the southwestern city of Turku as of Oct. 1, 2023, the country’s government said here on Wednesday.

The decision was announced after a meeting between President Sauli Niinisto and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has officially informed the Russian ambassador about this decision.

Niinisto and ministerial committee noted that Russia’s recent decision to close Finland’s Consulate General in St. Petersburg, also scheduled for Oct. 1, 2023, was an “asymmetric response” to Finland’s earlier announcement of expulsions.

The president and the committee members also addressed the status of Russia’s consulate in Mariehamn, located on the Aland Islands, and took note of the current state of preparations of a comprehensive legal analysis of Aland’s special status by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The analysis will specifically examine the status of Russia’s consulate in Mariehamn, among other relevant matters.

Finnish international law experts have cautioned against hasty decisions regarding the Russian consulate in Mariehamn, given its connection to the peace treaties Finland signed with the Soviet Union in 1940 and 1947. The Russian consulate in Mariehamn was established in 1940 after the 1939-1940 war between Finland and the Soviet Union.

Currently, besides its embassy in Helsinki, Russia maintains consulates in Turku and Mariehamn.

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