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Russia says Finland's embassy can only use one (sanctioned) bank

Finland's diplomatic missions saw their bank accounts frozen recently, prompting a complaint from the Finnish government.

Russia's embassy in Finland in the background, blurred, with a "no war" sticker on a railing in the foreground.
Russia's embassy has not had its access to banking services restricted, according to Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Image: Katri Tihilä / Yle
Yle News

Russia has answered Finland's complaint over the freezing of bank accounts controlled by Finland's diplomatic missions in Russia.

The response to the complaint cites Finnish rules that Russia says mean its embassy in Helsinki is only allowed to use one bank, and says the same principle now applies to Finland's missions in Russia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Russia did not name one particular bank that Finland would be permitted to use, and denied having stopped Russia's embassy in Helsinki from using any banks.

MFA communications planner Taneli Dobrowolski told Yle that Finnish government officials have no knowledge of what banks Finnish embassies are permitted to use.

The Russian embassy in Finland said on 17 May that Finnish embassies have been allowed to use VTB bank in Russia. VTB bank is sanctioned by the European Union and the United States.

It remains unclear if Russia is referring to that bank, according to Dobrowolski.

"We have not limited the banking possibilities of Russia's missions," said Dobrowolski. "On the contrary, we have tried to ensure they continue to have access to banking services."

Finland's embassy and consulate accounts remain frozen, and there has in practice been no progress in freeing their funds.

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