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Finland approves 200 out of 500 requests for evading anti-Russian sanctions

Finland approves 200 out of 500 requests for evading anti-Russian sanctions Photo: Finnish authorities issued hundreds of permits for evasion of sanctions against Russia (Getty Images)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has approved around 200 out of approximately 500 requests for exemption from anti-Russian sanctions since the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, says Pia Sarivaara, the head of the sanctions unit at the ministry.

"In the cases we deal with, permits for exemption from personal sanctions, specifically financial sanctions, are usually sought. This also involves permits for transferring money," she noted.

According to Sarivaara, a sanctioned individual may have obtained a permit to use frozen funds for property payments.

These permits are also related to the sale of businesses in Russia.

"When a Finnish company sells its subsidiary in Russia, and if the subsidiary's sales company transfers sanctioned products to the new buyer, the transfer of products to the new owner must be approved," Sarivaara explained.

However, more than 300 requests for permits were either rejected or left without consideration. Notably, no permits were granted for pension payments to displaced individuals.

Sanctions against Russia

Recall that Western countries significantly strengthened anti-Russian sanctions after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These restrictions, in particular, included the freezing of assets.

Just yesterday, on December 18, the European Union approved the 12th package of sanctions against Russia, which includes, among other things, a ban on the import of diamonds.