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Paper: Finland blocks sale of real estate near Lapland airport to Russian buyer

The sale of real estate and land in the vicinity of airports can be seen as potentially posing strategic military risks.

The property at the centre of the proposed deal is located next to Rovaniemi Airport in Finnish Lapland. Image: Raimo Torikka / Yle

The Finnish state has intervened to block the sale of an industrial property to a Russian buyer, citing national security reasons, according to a report (siirryt toiseen palveluun) by tabloid newspaper Ilta-Sanomat.

The paper added that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the report.

A Russian citizen had enquired about buying the empty property, which was located very close to Rovaniemi Airport. However, the sale of real estate and land in the vicinity of airports can be seen as potentially posing strategic military risks.

The Ministry of Defence told IS that the decision to preemptively block the deal was taken in June, but nothing has yet been finalised.

The law on the right to refuse permission to buy real estate in Finland came into force on 1 January 2020.

The law decrees that private individuals who are not nationals of European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) states and companies or other entities domiciled outside EU and EEA must obtain permission from Finnish authorities to buy real estate in Finland.

According to Ilta-Sanomot, the Rovaniemi case was only the second time that the Finnish state has used its right to refuse.