The visitor entrance to the Ministry of Justice in Helsinki in March 2021. The Ministry of Justice has finalised a bill that provides protection to, for example, current and former employees reporting misconduct by their employer. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) last week presented its proposal for implementing the whistleblowing directive of the European Union, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The directive is designed to detect and prevent misconduct and breaches of laws and regulations; to establish confidential and secure reporting channels to protect whistleblowers from retaliation; and to protect and enable whistleblowers to raise concerns without fear of retaliation.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) spoke at a government press conference in Helsinki on Thursday, 29 September 2022. Haavisto confirmed that the Finnish government has decided to shutter the Finnish border to Russian tourists over concerns about damage to the international reputation of Finland. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT on Thursday issued a resolution to effectively shut down the border to Russian tourists as of Friday, 30 September.

The resolution contains a number of exceptions, including for people seeking entry to study, perform essential work duties or meet members of their immediate family. Entering Finland will be possible also for other justified reasons to guarantee access for members of the opposition, for example.

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Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen (Greens) spoke during a plenary session in the Parliament House in Helsinki on 21 September 2022. Mikkonen on Tuesday told YLE that she is in favour of looking into the possibility of fencing parts of the border between Finland and Russia. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of the Interior Krista Mikkonen (Greens) on Tuesday confirmed she is in favour of exploring the possibility of building a fence on the border between Finland and Russia.

“No one is thinking that the entire 1,300-kilometre border should be fenced up. There are areas where the risk [of illegal crossings] is higher,” she underscored in an interview on YLE Aamu on Tuesday.

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A barbed wire fence along the border between Finland and Russia in Imatra, south-eastern Finland, in November 2021. The Finnish Border Guard states in a recent report that up to 20 per cent of the 1,300-kilometre border should be fenced to beef up border security in the new security environment, reports Uutissuomalainen. (Lauri Heino – Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH Border Guard states in a recent report that parts of the eastern border should be fenced to prevent people from illegally entering Finland, reports Uutissuomalainen.

The Border Guard estimated that building a fence along 10–20 per cent, or 130–260 kilometres, of the 1,300-kilometre border would be warranted in light of recent changes in the security environment. The fence would be designed to last 50 years.

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A ban on studded tyres begins on Lönnrotinkatu. Photo: Roni Rekomaa

The pilot ban on studded tyres will enter into force on parts of Lönnrotinkatu street starting from 28 September 2022. The aim of the three-year pilot is to improve air quality and reduce traffic noise in the area.

The ban on studded tyres on Lönnrotinkatu will apply to the 900-metre section between Mannerheimintie and Hietalahdenkatu streets.

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Finnish border officials were flanked by motorists making their way toward the border-crossing point in Vaalimaa, Virolahti, on Sunday, 25 September. Helsingin Sanomat on Monday reported that the Finnish government is expected to make its decision on denying entry to Russian tourists by Thursday. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

JOHANNA VUORELMA, a research professor at the Centre for European Studies of the University of Helsinki, has identified a number of inconsistencies in the decision-making process that is set to restrict the ability of Russians to enter Finland.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) on Friday said Finland would take action to prevent all entries based on tourism, signalling a complete turnaround in the government’s stance.

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Minister of the Environment Maria Ohisalo (Greens) addressed the Green League’s party conference in Kuopio on Saturday, 24 September 2022. Ohisalo argued in her speech that state-owned companies should not invest a single euro more in fossil industries. (Matias Honkamaa – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER of the Environment Maria Ohisalo (Greens) is calling for greater continuity in policy-making dealing with the climate and green transition.

Ohisalo on Saturday underlined in her speech to the party conference that the outlook for businesses making investments in projects that create benefits for the climate and environment must be upheld beyond electoral terms, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

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President Sauli Niinistö spoke to Finnish reporters in conjunction with the UN General Meeting in New York City, the US, on 20 September 2022. Niinistö on Wednesday offered his thoughts about the explosions that caused significant damage to the Nord Stream I pipeline in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat. (Kirsti Karttunen – Lehtikuva)

THE SECURITY THREAT across Europe has raised to a new level following the explosions that caused extensive damage to Nord Stream I, an underwater natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, gauges President Sauli Niinistö.

“In many people’s minds, the threat to their own security or at least their deep concern about it has increased,” he commented to Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday.

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A new reception centre for Ukrainian refugees in Vallila, Helsinki on 18th of March 2022.

As a result of competitive tendering, the Finnish Immigration Service has issued procurement decisions concerning the establishment of new reception centres in several geographical areas. In total, the Finnish Immigration Service will conclude 16 agreements on reception centres. The reception centres that were tendered for are supposed to open as soon as possible.

The procurement is carried out in two phases.

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Lines built up on the Russian side of the border-crossing point in Vaalimaa, Lappeenranta, on Thursday, 22 September 2022. Finnish border officials have detected an increase in border-crossings since the partial mobilisation announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. (Olivier Morin – AFP / Lehtikuva)

THE NUMBER of Russians entering Finland has been rising at border-crossing points along the eastern border since the partial mobilisation announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Matti Pitkäniitty, the director of international co-operation at the Finnish Border Guard, on Saturday told YLE that almost 7,700 Russian nationals entered Finland on Friday, representing an over two-fold increase from Friday, 16 September.

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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen attended a news conference in Helsinki on Wednesday, 28 September 2022. Marin viewed that the explosions in the Nord Stream I pipeline could be part of a wider effort to de-stabilise the Baltic Sea region and whip up fears in Europe. (Antti Yrjönen – Str / Lehtikuva)

THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT on Wednesday discussed a number of foreign policy issues as part of its informal weekly meeting, the so-called evening class, including the explosions in Nord Stream I.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) stated that she has discussed the explosions with her counterparts from Denmark and Sweden, offering them all the support needed to investigate to investigate the incident.

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Finnish customs officers talk to a man as they check a Russian vehicle at the Vaalimaa border check point in Virolahti, Finland, on September 25, 2022. LEHTIKUVA

Custom has continued enforcing the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia as an essential element of its daily enforcement work. Transports under sanctions have mostly contained IT products and other electronics. However, sanctions also cover for example boating equipment, drones and optical devices. Customs enforces sanctions based on risk analysis of goods flows, and carries out physical enforcement at customs offices.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) was photographed leaving a government meeting at the House of the Estates on 4 September 2022. Haavisto on Friday announced Finland has made a tentative decision to effectively deny entry to Russian citizens holding a tourist visa. The restriction, he added, could enter into force in the coming days. (Seppo Samuli – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) on Friday announced a plan to restrict the entry of Russian citizens to Finland, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

All Russians holding a tourist visa, he revealed, will be prohibited from entering the country and prevented from using the country as a transit country to other parts of the Schengen Area. Finland will also enable the revocation of multiple-entry visas granted to Russians.

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A man holding a bundle of spring onions in a supermarket in Helsinki on 8 July 2022. Pellervo Economic Research (PTT) on Tuesday said vegetable prices will rise notably in the autumn and winter as high electricity prices add to the cost of greenhouse production. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

PELLERVO Economic Research (PTT) on Tuesday revealed that it expects food prices to continue on a steep upward trajectory in Finland.

The latest forecast by the independent research institute indicates that inflation will accelerate in the coming months, with the prices of cheese, dairy, eggs and meat set to surge by up to 20 per cent in the final few months of the year.

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People in downtown Helsinki on 22 September 2022. Danske Bank said last week that the purchasing power of households is under threat from three sources: inflation, interest rates and unemployment. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

DANSKE BANK has revised down its economic growth forecast for Finland in 2023.

The Nordic provider of financial services revealed last week that it has slashed its forecast for gross domestic product growth from 1.6 per cent to -0.2 per cent for 2022 due to the sustained inflationary environment and economic uncertainties around the globe.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs was photographed arriving for the government’s budget session at the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 1 September 2022. Haavisto on Wednesday said Finland does not want to become a transit country for Russians with short-term visas granted by other Schengen countries. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) on Wednesday revealed that Finland is looking into national measures to curb the flow of tourists from Russia.

“Finland doesn’t want to be a transit country for [people with] visas granted by other Schengen countries. We want to bring these traffic flows under control,” he was quoted saying at a media availability in New York City, the US, by Helsingin Sanomat.

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