In a bid to bolster national security measures, Finland is mulling over the introduction of new legislative initiatives. These proposed changes include restricting Russians and certain non-EEA countries from engaging in specific real estate transactions within the country. This revelation was made by Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on October 14.

The Defense Minister said, “We are reassessing property deals involving non-EEA nations. This not only includes Russians but also parties from countries like China. As we approach the winter months, we’ll evaluate whether to impose an outright ban on such transactions or integrate stringent additional limitations.”

Hakkanen assured that even if the legislation leans toward a more restrictive stance, clear guidelines would still be outlined. This would pinpoint particular scenarios where such real estate transactions might still be allowed, ensuring that genuine and legitimate interests are not unduly impacted.

The Finnish government’s broader perspective on this matter seems to emanate from concerns about foreign ownership, particularly in critical sectors. This was emphasized by Hakkanen’s statement about reinforcing control over corporate acquisitions. He highlighted past instances, emphasizing the need for enhanced scrutiny, saying, “We aim to bolster our oversight on corporate buyouts to prevent situations like the one where Russians acquired a significant stake in the Helsinki shipyard or any similar occurrences.”

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Such initiatives by Finland are not entirely unexpected given the larger geopolitical landscape. The move comes in the backdrop of an incident in mid-September where Finland decided to deny entry to cars registered in Russia. This decision mirrored actions taken by the Baltic nations, which had implemented a similar restriction just days before Finland’s move.

This series of events indicates a pattern of increasing vigilance and caution by European countries toward dealings with Russia, particularly in sectors with potential strategic implications. The proposed changes to Finland’s legislation can be part of this broader narrative, emphasizing security and safeguarding national interests.