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Finns party opposed to broad Russia sanctions

MPs from the opposition Finns party are opposed to broad-based economic sanctions against Russia after the vote in Crimea and expected annexation of the territory. They believe a wider trade war would hurt Finnish businesses.

Image: Yle

The Finns party has joined the chorus of voices warning of possible damage to the Finnish economy if economic sanctions against Russia extend beyond the personal, targeted measures agreed on Monday.

On Tuesday parliamentarians from the party agreed a resolution that supported the sanctions already slapped on leading Russian officials, but opposing any broader action against trade between Russia and the west.

“Russia is expected to implement harsh retaliatory measures which will not be distributed evenly throughout the EU, rather the biggest losers will be Finland, the Baltic countries and Germany,” read the party’s statement.

The crisis in Ukraine has already affected Finnish business in Russia, according to the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber's deputy chair, Jaana Rekolainen, says that retail and tourism are already suffering in the Finnish-Russian border region due to the weakened rouble. She warns that sanctions blocking the export of products into Russia could have damaging effects on Finland's food and forest industries in particular.