Report: Russia is increased threat to Finland

HELSINKI, Finland, Aug. 30 (UPI) — Russia poses as a greater threat to neighboring Finland with a more aggressive policy on foreign affairs, according to a report issued Tuesday.

The Finnish Institute for Foreign Affairs’ report concludes Finland needs to be in a better crisis readiness mode.

The key points are Russia’s energy policy and lack of Western-style markets, the report said.

“Russia’s foreign policy goals have remained the same for a long period of time, but in recent years its means to achieve those goals have become more aggressive,” the report said. “The background of this change lies in the country’s internal factors such as dependence on raw materials, structural economic problems and shortcomings in the rule of law.”

Russia’s capabilities in “external military, economic and informational influence have simultaneously increased has led to a changing foreign policy behavior,” according to the report.

In particular, the report analyzes the implications of Russia’s changing activity in Finland’s energy, Arctic and Baltic Sea security policies.

The report listed policy recommendations for Finland to prepare for those risks.

“Neighboring an internally unpredictable Russia that creates international tensions, Finland needs first and foremost to invest in its own society’s resilience and in international cooperation,” the report said.

The report cited the Finnish Intelligence Police’s annual review that a key goal of Russian intelligence in 2015 was to influence Finnish energy policy.

The Russian state-owned nuclear contractor Rosatom is a part-owner and the main supplier of Fennovoima nuclear power plant being constructed in Pyhajoki on Finland’s west coast and to be finished in 2024. The report noted that Russian policy has been to create dependencies in several countries.

The report recommended avoiding major strategic investments because of economic uncertainty in Russia.

It said close economic and cultural links are advised but Finland must make it clear breaking international agreements are not acceptable.

Finland should continue to cooperate with Western partners on military, the report recommended.



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