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Security Council boss sees threat from Finland

Nikolay Patrushev warns against nationalist influence from neighboring Finland.

Nationalist groups from Finland are boosting their influence in the Republic of Karelia, head of the Russian Security Council says.

Visiting Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, on Thursday Nikolay Patrushev warned against negative influence from neighboring Finland.

“On the background of a growth in anti-Russian rhetoric from the West, we see an activitzation of nationalistis and revanchist Finnish organizations”, Patrushev said. According to the Security Council leader, the unwanted Finnish citizens are operating through local Karelian non-governmental organizations, TASS reports.

According to the state news agency, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja rebuffs Patrushev’s comments, saying that “Russia has no reason to fear influence from any kind of Finnish organizations”.

Nikolay Patrushed visited the Karelian capital in connection with an extraordinary Security Council meeting. In the same meeting, the Council leader underlined the importance to improve cross-border cooperation with the neighboring Nordic state.

According to Patrushev, “despite the policy of sanctions and containment of Russia, western partners continue to express an interest in mutually beneficial cross-border cooperation”, a press release from the Security Council reads.

The Council leader in the meeting called for an extension of partner contacts with Finland and especially highlighted the need for improved cross-border infrastructure.

Nikolay Patrushev has been the secretary of the Russian Security Council since 2008. Before that, he almost ten years headed the FSB.