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Finland to expedite procedure for confiscating Helsinki Arena from Russian oligarchs

Finland to expedite procedure for confiscating Helsinki Arena from Russian oligarchs Finland will expedite the procedure for confiscating the Helsinki Ice Arena (photo:

Finland will expedite the process of confiscating the Helsinki Ice Arena, owned by Russian oligarchs Gennady Timchenko and Roman Rotenberg, according to Ilta-Sanomat.

The Finnish government aims for Gennady Timchenko and Roman Rotenberg to voluntarily sell their controlling stake in the Helsinki Ice Arena, or they will initiate the process of confiscating the shares. The oligarchs, connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, own part of the arena through the company Arena Events Oy.

The most likely start date for nationalization is January-February 2024.

"There will be no more delays. The arena will be returned to operation for the benefit of all, one way or another," said a source in the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the publication, the hockey arena has been closed since the end of February 2022. After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Helsinki authorities are losing over 100 million euros annually due to the inability to use the sports facility. According to the estimates of the city authorities, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses are losing up to 400 million euros per year while the "Helsinki Arena" remains idle.

It is noted that a crucial factor in activating the confiscation procedure will be the EU countries' decision on the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. The procedure for exemptions for operations related to the assets of sanctioned individuals ended on May 31. If the new EU sanctions do not extend it, Helsinki will not be able to confiscate the oligarchs' arena promptly.

It has been reported earlier that Finland is exploring ways to take control of the largest sports arena in Helsinki Ice Arena, which has been closed since last year due to sanctions against its Russian billionaire owners.