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Finland's Russian nickel imports bigger than before war

Imports of Russian nickel have increased since the invasion, Finnish Customs data shows.

Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) is Finland's Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Finland's imports of Russian nickel have increased, according to Finnish Customs. In addition to oil and gas, nickel is another significant raw material exported by Russia.

Finnish Customs' preliminary figures indicate that Russian nickel imports in September grew by 59 percent compared to a year earlier.

The Finnish government is, however, prepared to ramp up sanctions against Russia, Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP), Finland's Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, said.

"We're ready to sanction everything," Tuppurainen told Yle's A-studio discussion programme on Tuesday evening.

Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have sanctioned Russian nickel, according to Tuppurainen, while the EU and the United States have not.

Nickel is, for example, used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

The minister emphasised that the Finnish government would not block the expansion of sanctions on Russia. Finland has not imposed its own sanctions against Russia, but implements EU-wide bans.

"If EU countries reach a consensus, Finland will also support a ban on nickel," she explained.

Tuppurainen, however, remained tight-lipped on current EU sanctions negotiations and bans supported by Finland.

"While sanctions don't have an immediate impact like missiles in a battlefield, they work slowly, choking the Russian economy like an anaconda," the minister told Yle.

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