Finland prepares response to Russian security demands, says foreign minister

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto speaks during the NATO Foreign Ministers Summit in Riga, Latvia December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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HELSINKI, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Finland is preparing a response to a letter received on Tuesday from Russia asking for security guarantees from OSCE countries, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said.

Finland shares a long border and a difficult history with Russia but is not a member of NATO.

“This exchange is about the (Russian) thought that the West has added its own security at Russia’s expense. Obviously the West has a completely different view on this,” Haavisto told reporters at Helsinki.

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All members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have received a letter, Finnish national broadcaster YLE reported.

Sweden has also received a letter, Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish radio. She declined to comment on the contents of the letter.

“The Foreign Office receives a lot of letters that we treat in the same way: we look at what’s in the letter, we analyze and we prepare any possible response to the letter,” Linde said.

The Foreign Office could not immediately comment.

Linde will meet Haavisto in Stockholm on Wednesday, along with defense ministers from both countries, to discuss the security situation in Europe.

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Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Andrew Heavens and David Gregorio

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