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Tabloid: Finnish ambassador to Sweden suspected of sexual harassment

Foreign Ministry officials have launched an internal investigation into suspected sexual harassment at its Sweden embassy, reports the tabloid daily Iltalehti. The paper writes that ambassador Jarmo Viinanen is at the centre of sexual harassment allegations involving embassy staff and guests.

Suomen suurlähetystö Tukholmassa.
Suomen suurlähetystö Tukholmassa. Image: Wikimedia

On Wednesday the tabloid daily Iltalehti reported that Finland’s ambassador to Sweden, Jarmo Viinanen is suspected of sexual harassment of embassy staff as well as guests visiting the mission in Stockholm.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry confirmed that it has initiated an internal inquiry into reports of suspected sexual harassment at its embassy on Sweden. However, ministry officials did not disclose further details when probed by Yle.

In an interview with the tabloid daily, the ministry’s administrative director Ari Rouhe said that an audit had been completed but was still being reviewed.

Speaking on commercial broadcaster MTV’s morning breakfast programme, Foreign Minister Timo Soini described the allegations against Viinanen as serious. He stressed that the matter would be thoroughly investigated.

"We have zero tolerance for these things," the minister declared.

Press officer: No comment from Viinanen

Press officer at the Finnish embassy in Stockholm Niina Hyrsky said she had discussed the case with Ambassador Viinanen.

However, she said that he would not offer any personal comment on the matter.

The press officer maintained that Viinanen had nothing to add to Rouhe’s comments about an internal audit that was under review.

Viinanen has served as the Finnish ambassador to Sweden for two years. He began his diplomatic career in the late 80s as an intern with the administrative and political section of the Finnish embassy in Austria. He was Finland’s permanent representative to the United Nations before taking up his current post in Sweden.

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