“Atmosphere in Russia more severe”
Developments in Russia include “features that are a cause for concern”, Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said on Monday before discussing the issue with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov in Helsinki.
Foreign Minister Lavrov downplayed the 2-years prison verdict against the Pussy Riot members when he was confronted with the case by Finnish journalists.
"The answer to questions about the issue is unambiguous: The judiciary acts independently. Opinions differ, but the actions of a court cannot be interfered with,” Sergey Lavrov said according to YLE.
Speaking to his diplomatic corps the same day, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja commented on the latest developments in Russia by saying “Developments in Russia include "features that are a cause for concern," and that Russia’s problem include “"the vagueness and impossibility to anticipate changes in legislation, and suspicion about the activities of the civic society, the concentration of decision-making, and selective administration of justice." The quotes were given to Helsingin Sanomat.
Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö says it is too early to draw conclusions on the permanence of changes in Putin’s Russia. Niimistö however feels that atmosphere in Russia has become more severe. Interviewed by Helsingin Sanomat the President says: “"It is somewhat early to say, but the general assessment seems to be that there has been something of a tightening of strings, and it has happened more quickly than had been expected."