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Finland summons Russian ambassador over sham referenda, Ukrainian annexations

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine on Friday.

Russian Ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian Ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov to express Finland's strong condemnation of the sham referenda and subsequent annexations of Ukrainian territories.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal annexation of four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine – Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south — at a signing ceremony on Friday.

Marja Liivala, Director General of the Department for Russia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs told Yle that the Monday morning meeting was "brief".

The ministry informed the ambassador that Finland considers Russia's actions to be a clear violation of Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and the UN Charter.

The "referenda" have been widely condemned by Western countries as illegal, with the EU issuing a statement while Putin was still delivering his speech on Friday afternoon.

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö said on Friday that Finland will "not recognise the results of the illegal referenda or annexations".

This week's episode of All Points North explores the security considerations following Finland's decision to restrict the entry of Russian tourists. You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, on Spotify or via the options found in this article.

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