Russians apparently remain fans of Finnish dairy products, despite a three-year Russian ban on imports. On Wednesday Russian customs officials published pictures taken from the vehicle used by a cheese smuggler attempting to circumvent the restrictions, which limit imports to five kilogrammes of cheese.
The man had stashed 99 kilos of Finnish cheese, much of it apparently Valio's Oltermanni staple, in his minibus. He was attempting to enter Russia at the Nuijamaa border crossing when Russia's dairy-detecting border protectors found his milky hoard.
Russian customs said on their website that the man had not declared his cheesy cargo in writing, as is required by Russian law. The cheese was confiscated as it exceeded the five-kilo limit.
That limit was imposed when Russia slapped counter-sanctions on EU products in response to EU measures reacting to the annexation of Crimea. In addition to dairy products, there are limits on imports of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
The imposition of the embargo hit the Finnish dairy industry hard, with supermarkets flooded with cheap, Russian-labelled versions of popular Finnish cheese which were promptly christened 'Putin cheese' in the press.
This is not the first cheese smuggler to be apprehended heading east from Finland. In January Russia uncovered and confiscated 37 kilos of illicit cheese.