Russia urges Finland to bring to justice Finns who burned Russian flag
Moscow considers is an "unprecedented and unacceptable act of desecration" of the state symbol of Russia.
Russia called on Finland to bring to justice those who burned the Russian flag during mass marches in Helsinki earlier this month, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
"In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a diplomatic demarche with regard to the Finnish side, stating that such actions are considered by Moscow as an unprecedented and unacceptable act of desecration of the state symbol of our country," the ministry said.
Finnish people burning the Russian flag as part of their Independence Day celebration yesterday. pic.twitter.com/MoXx4uO7ru— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) December 7, 2022
"Finnish authorities are requested to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice and take measures to prevent such extremist acts in the future," it added.
On December 6, a group of people burned the Russian national flag during the mass marches held in Helsinki while celebrating Finland's Independence Day.
Days before, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin insisted that Ukraine must be provided with "whatever it takes" to win the war, adding that the United States has had an integral role in supplying Ukraine with weapons, in addition to the necessary finances and humanitarian aid.
Helsinki has been “working” on new rules that would further harden the rules on Russian tourists, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told journalists in September.
In early August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mused that the Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy,” and urged the West to refuse entry to Russian tourists. Moscow has condemned the new legislation as "flagrant nationalism" and "xenophobia." The Kremlin also expressed hope that "common sense" will win in the long run.
On another level, Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, which would redefine European security and which has been met with opposition from Russia, would cause the two countries to potentially become targets for the Russian military and force Moscow to take action if they are admitted to NATO.
Both countries have been repeatedly warned by Moscow not to join NATO. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated in March that "there will be serious military and political consequences."
On July 5, the permanent representatives of NATO member states signed accession protocols for the two Scandanavian countries at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels.
All members of the bloc have to ratify the protocols according to their national legislation.
Out of all the NATO members, Hungary and Turkey are the only countries that still did not clear Sweden and Finland's accession.
Last week, the Hungarian Prime Minister said the parliament plans to ratify NATO membership for Finland and Sweden in early 2023.