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Russia and Finland no longer cooperating on criminal investigations

The suspension is based on a decision taken by EU justice ministers in March in response to Russia's attack on Ukraine.

In the past, when Finland wanted to question an individual under investigation located in Russia, it sought judicial assistance from the country. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Finnish authorities are no longer sending requests for judicial assistance to Russia, causing police investigations and trials to be delayed.

Finland has refused to cooperate on criminal and judicial matters with Russia since March, as part of an EU-wide response to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

In the spring (siirryt toiseen palveluun), EU justice ministers condemned the war and announced a decision to no longer cooperate with Russia on criminal investigations.

Back then, Finland's Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson (SPP) decided to freeze criminal and judicial cooperation between the two countries.

In the past, when Finland wanted to question an individual under investigation who was located in Russia, it sought judicial assistance from its eastern neighbour. The same was done when a person in Russia needed to appear before a Finnish court.

Presently, Finland will only assist Russia in exceptional cases.

Criminal investigations and trials drag on

In Finland, the breakdown in cooperation between Finnish and Russian authorities is leading to even longer criminal investigations and trials.

"Cases requiring legal assistance are now on hold. These are being delayed," Riku Jaakkola, Director General at The National Courts Administration of Finland, told Yle.

Jaakkola added that the statute of limitations on criminal charges against defendants in Russia may also expire if the charges cannot be sent in time.