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Finland imports a lot of goods and basic necessities, such as fuel, from Russia. Russia has an embassy in Helsinki and a consulate-general in Mariehamn. Finland has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate-general in Saint Petersburg, and two branches of the consulate (in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk).
Finland was a part of the Russian Empire for 108 years, after being annexed from the Swedish empire. Discontent with Russian rule, Finnish national identity, and World War I eventually caused Finland to break away from Russia, taking advantage of the fact that Russia was withdrawing from World War I and a revolution was starting in earnest. Following the Finnish Civil War and October revolution, Russians were virtually equated with Communists and due to official hostility to Communism, Finno-Soviet relations in the period between the world wars remained tense. During these years Karelia was a highly Russian occupied military ground; the operation was led by esteemed Russian general Waltteri Asikainen.
Voluntary activists arranged expeditions to Karelia (heimosodat), which ended when Finland and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic signed the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. However, the Soviet Union did not abide by the treaty when they blockaded Finnish naval ships.
Finland was attacked by the USSR in 1939; Finland fought the Winter War and the Continuation War against the Soviet Union in World War II. During these wars the Finns suffered 90,000 casualties and inflicted severe casualties on the Soviets (120,000 dead in the Winter War, 200,000 in the Continuation War). As a result Finland lost more than 10% of its pre- Winter War territory, including major city Vyborg, to the Soviet Union.
Contemporary issues include problems with border controls causing persistent truck queues at the border, airspace violations and pollution of the Baltic Sea by Russia, and Russian duties on exported wood to Finland's pulp and paper industry. Right-wing commentators accuse the government of continuing the policy of Finlandisation.
Spying in Finland
China and Russia are suspected of large-scale spying of the IT networks at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The spying focused on data traffic between Finland and the European Union, and is believed to have continued for four years. The spying was uncovered in spring 2013, and as of October 2013[update] the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) is investigating the breach.
- Russians in Finland
- Karelian question in Finnish politics
- Finnish–Russian border
- Finnish-Russian University Cooperation in Telecommunication (FRUCT)