Over 20 Finnish companies managed or owned by Russians have been exporting high technology and other goods that can be used in the military industry to Russia, according to an investigation by Finland's public broadcaster YLE published on Jan. 15.
The investigation revealed that at least nine customers of the Finnish companies have direct links to the Russian military sector and intelligence agencies such as Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).
These are small logistics firms operating mostly in southeastern Finland, near major logistics hubs, YLE wrote. At least four of them are already subjects of criminal investigations.
A Russian-linked company operating in Lappeenranta has sent to Russia "numerous packages" with sensors, diesel engines, fuel pumps, and transmission equipment, which experts have classified as critical supplies in warfare, according to the investigation.
According to Russian public procurement data, two of the firm's clients have ties to the FSB, with one of the clients posting a letter on their website thanking the FSB for good cooperation.
Similar components were reportedly found in destroyed Russian weapons and vehicles in Ukraine, but not all of them were subjected to Western sanctions, which has made it easier to export them to Russia.
Other products exported to Russia by the Finnish companies include equipment for military research, product development, and intelligence activities, as well as engine parts and electronics, the media outlet wrote.
It is not clear, though, whether the Russian military has specifically used the goods exported from the Finnish companies covered in the investigation.
According to YLE, some goods were exported from Finland to Russia through Uzbekistan, which Russia has reportedly used to evade Western sanctions.
Following the outbreak of the full-scale war against Ukraine, Western countries imposed extensive sanctions against Russia, banning imports of electronics and other goods critical for the production of high-tech weapons like missiles or drones.
In spite of these restrictions, Moscow continues to acquire dual-use goods via third-party countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, or China.