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APN podcast: Gas and tourists—Making sense of Finland's relationship with Russia

On this week's show, we follow the trail of Finland's gas shipments from Russia and ask why Finland is still granting visas to Russian tourists.

Image: Grigori Vorobjov / Yle

This week the All Points North podcast turns its focus east, asking why Finland is still open to Russian gas and tourists.

"Since the start of the war, we've been demanding that Finland and the EU should stop importing Russian fossil fuels," Olli Tiainen, an energy campaigner at Greenpeace, told APN. "We all know by now that it [the war] is funded with the fossil fuel trade and especially with gas."

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, on Spotify or via the options found in this article.

Story continues after audio.

Greenpeace activists recently attempted to stop a Gasum tanker carrying Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) from unloading its cargo at the port of Tornio.

"It's crucial that we always follow all the sanctions, all the restrictions by EU or any other country where Gasum is operating, explained Olga Väisänen," a Gasum VP and spokesperson, about Finland importing Russian fossil fuel.

Gasum, however, told APN that it was not willing to share details about its LNG contract with Gazprom Export.

Traffic on Finland's eastern border has meanwhile picked up since Russia announced a mobilisation of its military reserves. Finland is now the only EU land border accessible to Russian tourists, sparking a lot of debate—both in Finland and abroad.

"Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinistö have been making unusually strong statements about Russia, on a new level for Finland, but then this lack of follow up in the procedures makes it look like Finland is talking the talk but not walking the walk," Minna Ålander of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) told APN.

Join the discussion

This week's show was presented by Ronan Browne and Zena Iovino. The sound engineer was Laura Koso.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at yle.news@yle.fi and allpointsnorth@yle.fi.

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