Moscow terminates Russia-Finland border cooperation agreement amid souring ties

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The termination of the agreement between Moscow and Helsinki on facilitating border cooperation comes into force on Wednesday, but no significant changes are expected in practice, local media reported on Wednesday.

“Due to the targeted actions taken by the Finnish side in 2022-2023 to sever multifaceted ties with Russia, real work on the development of cross-border cooperation was nullified even during the formal validity of the treaty,” Russia’s RIA Novosti quoted the Russian embassy in Finland as saying.

“The most significant practical consequence of the denunciation of the treaty seems to be the cessation of existence of an institutional framework for planning and coordination of cross-border cooperation,” it said.

The agreement lost its relevance in the new conditions when the statements from Finland’s foreign policy leadership and Helsinki’s overall confrontational stance demonstrated a complete lack of readiness to engage in dialogue in the area, said the Russian Embassy in Helsinki.

In October, the Russian Foreign Ministry handed a note to the Finnish Ambassador to Russia, Antti Helantera, to terminate the agreement between Moscow and Helsinki on promoting cross-border cooperation. The agreement was signed in Helsinki on April 13, 2012, and the termination was accepted in connection with Finland’s confrontational actions towards Russia, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Finnish government has decided to close all border crossings between Finland and Russia to passenger traffic since mid-December. The border closure, originally valid until Jan. 14, has been extended until Feb. 11.

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