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Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev accuses Finland of confrontation

Nikolai Patrushev, Executive Director of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, told a meeting on security issues in Petrozavodsk on 31 July that foreign special services are destabilising the socio-political situation in the Republic of Karelia, provoking riots and supporting separatist sentiments, especially among young people.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Patrushev noted that ten terrorist acts planned by Western and Ukrainian special services were prevented in the region in the last six months. He called for the activities of pro-Western non-governmental social and religious organisations that incite separatist ideas among the population to be prevented. He also instructed to strengthen control over transport infrastructure, energy and chemical companies, educational institutions.

Information about the plans to create a national battalion “Karelia”, which would include Finnish citizens, is spread in the region through social networks. “Helsinki is deliberately going into confrontation with Moscow under the dictates of the US, but after Russia wins the military operation in Ukraine, ‘everything will fall into place’,” Patrushev said.

Patrushev also said that far-right organisations have become active in Finland, calling for the return of lost territories to the republic, which the country lost as a result of World War II. “The activity of far-right organisations demanding the return of territories lost as a result of the Second World War has intensified. Apparently, the lessons of the recent past have not been learnt,” TASS quoted Patrushev as saying.

According to him, the North Atlantic Alliance has been dragging Finland into the anti-Russian campaign for a long time, including at the expense of the so-called “Karelian issue”. Finland’s accession to NATO has increased the threats to the security of the Russian Federation, primarily due to the extension of the NATO-Russian border, Patrushev noted.

Patrushev also said that in the Russian Republic of Karelia, Ukrainian and Western intelligence services are trying to corrupt Russian youth through sabotage and terror attempts spreading through social media. In June, Yle reported on activists based in Finland who say they are seeking an independent Republic of Karelia that would break away from Russia.

The Republic of Karelia has the smallest local ethnic minority of any Russian republic, as only 5.5 percent of the population is Karelian. The Karelian language is a Finnic language, closely related to Finnish, which is recognised as a minority language in Finland and Russia’s Republic of Karelia.