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Finland not to freeze assets of US-blacklisted individuals — Finnish Foreign Ministry

July 31, 2015, 16:54 UTC+3
The US imposed new Ukraine-related sanctions on companies and individuals who provide support to previously sanctioned Russian tycoons, and the list includes Finnish citizens, as well as companies
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HELSINKI, July 31 /TASS/. New US sanctions imposed on Russia should not have a direct impact on Finland or serve as pretext for the Finnish authorities to introduce restrictive measures against individuals included in the new US sanctions list, Paivi Kaukoranta, the head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry’s legal service, said on Friday.

"We have got in touch with the US authorities and asked them for explanations. However, we can now see that the sanctions list itself contains all the necessary explanations. I am not going to say whether what we know will be enough for us and if we are going to wait for some new information," Kaukortanta told TASS.

She expressed the hope that the US sanctions would not serve as ground for the Finnish authorities to freeze assets because the US and Finland had various legislations. She did not rule out, however, that other consequences, which in fact she did not clarify, might follow given the interdependency in global economy.

Meanwhile, the Finnish companies blacklisted by US have refrained from any comments. "There are no comments because we do not know what to say," Airfix Aviation Oy representative told TASS. The Finnish ice hockey club Jokerit has also refrained from comments: the United States has blacklisted its co-owner Roman Rotenberg and board member Kai Paananen, a citizen of Finland.

"We know about that. But previously we made a strategic decision not to comment the inclusion of Jokerit members in the sanctions lists," the club’s CEO, Jukka Kohonen, said.

In an interview with the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Paananen said he was surprised with what had happened to him. "It’s very strange that a Finnish national has been included in the list. I consider it to be offending because I was just responsible for Finnish exports abroad," Paananen said adding he would clarify the matter with the Finnish authorities.

Paananen headed the SET Group, which also comprises the sanctioned SET Petrochemicals Oy and Southeast Trading Oy.

Last Thursday, the United States imposed new Ukraine-related sanctions on legal entities and individuals who provide support to previously sanctioned billionaire Gennady Timchenko and Russian businessman Boris Rotenberg. The list announced by the Treasury Department includes Finnish national Kai Paananen; Boris Rotenberg’s son Roman Rotenberg as well as several Finnish companies such as Airfix Aviation Oy (based in Finland); SET Petrochemicals Oy (based in Finland) and Southeast Trading Oy (based in Romania, Russia and Finland).

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