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Finland rejects Russian nationals' property acquisitions, citing security grounds

by Nate Ostiller October 19, 2023 5:38 PM 1 min read
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (L) speaks with Finnish Defence Minister Antti Hakkanen as they attend a NATO Council Defence Ministers Session, at the NATO's headquarters in Brussels, on Oct. 12, 2023. (SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)
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Finland's Defense Ministry blocked three planned property acquisitions by Russian nationals due to concerns that they would "hinder" national defense, the ministry said in a press release on Oct. 19.

The sales that were rejected were in the Finnish localities of Ruokolahti and Kitee, both located about 25 kilometers from the Russian border.

On Oct. 14, it was reported that Finland was considering banning Russian citizens and other non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens from purchasing certain types of property in Finnish territory, citing security concerns.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen said that a complete ban was also under consideration.

The tightened restrictions on the purchase of real estate by foreigners would also include foreign companies.

In mid-September, Finland banned entry to Russian-registered cars only days after the Baltic countries instituted the same measure.

A militarily neutral country for decades, Finland joined NATO in April 2023, a little more than a year after the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.

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