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Ex-PM Aho: Two possible scenarios of Russian involvement in Salisbury poisoning

Ex-Prime Minister and business magnate Esko Aho calls the murder attempts a frightening phenomenon.

Esko Aho
Ex-Prime Minister Esko Aho voiced his concerns on national television. Image: Yle

Ex-Prime Minister turned industrialist Esko Aho said on Saturday that the attempted murders of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England represent an unusual and frightening phenomenon.

Aho voiced his comments on the alleged attack by neurotoxin on Yle's morning TV show, saying that even participants in the Cold War adhered to certain agreed-upon ground rules.

Aho also speculated on possible direct Russian involvement.

"If Russia or Russian agents were behind his, that would present two possibilities," he said. "Either the Russian government was directly involved, or the toxin ended up in the wrong hands. Both scenarios are very bad."

Aho says he hopes the situation will soon be clarified.

"We need to interrupt this cycle of measures and countermeasures. The rules are changing or about to change, and that's dangerous for the rest of the world."

Aho is also a member of the board of Russia's biggest bank, Sberbank. Aho has said that his position there is "not political".

Sberbank has restricted access to US and EU capital markets after the EU and US imposed sanctions on the bank following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Aho also chairs the board of East Office, a coalition of Finnish firms that works to advance their interests in the Russian market. Aho has said that the issue of sanctions and trade with Russia has been painted too black and white.

Edit 17 Mar: Added information on Aho's positions in Sberbank and East Office.

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