Report: Russia may terminate Saimaa canal contract if Finland joins NATO
Saimaa Canal connects lake Saimaa with Gulf of Finland near Vyborg town in western Russia
Russia may choose to terminate Finland’s 50-year contract leasing part of the Saimaa canal, if the Nordic country decides to join NATO, Finnish media reported on Wednesday.
“As Russia’s relations with any country deteriorate, treaties concluded during a period of better relations and that made sense at the time may be revised. That would be quite natural,” the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) quoted Dmitry Novikov, deputy chair of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, as saying.
Completed in 1856, the Saimaa Canal is a transportation canal that connects lake Saimaa with the Gulf of Finland near Vyborg town in western Russia.
Freight traffic on the canal has declined significantly since Russia’s war on Ukraine began in late February.
On April 23, Finland’s foreign minister said that it is the right time for his country to join NATO.
On April 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry argued that the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO will have negative consequences for peace and stability in northern Europe.
At least 2,787 civilians have been killed and 3,152 others injured in Ukraine since the war started on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.