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Ukrainian separatists opening mission in Helsinki

The eastern Ukrainian separatist group calling itself the "Donetsk Republic" will be opening a representative office in Helsinki, according to Finnish academic and activist Johan Bäckman.

The Donetsk Republic is a separatist group which has occupied official buildings in parts of eastern Ukraine and has planned a referendum for this Sunday on the status of the Donetsk region.

According to Bäckman, two representatives have already been named to a representative office in Helsinki. 

The Finnish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the reported plan by Ukrainian separatists. The Ministry did point out that official embassies can be established only by internationally recognized states with which Finland has diplomatic relations.

Johan Bäckman says that the representative office will be opened on the 18th of this month at a conference in Helsinki where the keynote speaker will be Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, an ideologist of the creation of a Eurasian empire. Bäckman added that he has had talks in Moscow with Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin on setting up a western European representative office in Helsinki. As Pushilin is on the EU sanctions list, it is unlikely that he will be present for the opening.

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