Russian convoy carrying “priceless” artworks seized at Finnish border

legacy The trucks were intercepted this weekend because they were returning collections to Russia on loan from several museums, including the Hermitage. Its value was secured at more than 42 million euros.

The dialect is rising between Finland and Russia. A convoy carrying a collection of artworks valued at 42 million euros was confiscated on 1Verse And April 2, Finnish authorities announced on Wednesday. Three trucks were searched at the Valima border post, between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg, and contained a shipment, according to border guards. “Priceless” From paintings, sculptures and antiquities belonging to many Russian museums. Therefore, a shipment of luxury goods was identified by Finnish customs, which confiscated the group under European sanctions and suspended the transfer of these items to Russia.

It is important that sanctions monitoring be effectiveIt was announced, Wednesday, during a press conference, the Director of the Finnish Customs Control Department, Sami Rakshit. Customs officials said the boxes containing the artwork were not hidden. Authorities suspect ten people were involved in the removal of the group, while a preliminary investigation has been opened in Finland. The collection consists of several dozen objects belonging to Japan and Italy, and the collection has been placed under the supervision of the Directorate of Museums in Finland. “Specialists have been consulted for the transportation and storage of goods. We will not open the boxes.”said Hanno Senkonen, Director of Customs Control.

Victims of sanctions

In March, Russia made the decision to return its loaned artworks to Italy or France, in response to similar measures taken by several European countries. The Hermitage Museum, in particular, aimed to reinstall Titians, Picassos, and other Canovas in its galleries in Saint Petersburg, loaned to various Milanese and Roman institutions.

The list of works seized at the end of this week in the convoy was not specified. On the other hand, the Russian authorities have confirmed that this property is kept privately in the Hermitage Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum – a collection of the most prestigious institutions in Russia.

The action of Finnish customs provoked a swift reaction from the Russian authorities. This situation is completely illegal.The Russian Foreign Ministry said, Wednesday, before summoning the Finnish ambassador to Moscow on Thursday to demand the return of the artifacts. We call on the Finnish authorities to ensure the full return of our artworks as soon as possible.. The Finnish authorities, for their part, made it clear that they had not confiscated the seized works. “This is a temporary situation. These works of art are still kept in Russian museums.explained Timo Sibonen, director of the export control unit at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Finnish customs have tightened their border controls since the European Union announced sanctions against Russia, in the context of the war in Ukraine. Initially, luxury goods were reserved on March 15 to the expanded list of products subject to export restrictions. way to wear a A blow to the Russian eliteprevent the rich from “Enjoying their lavish lifestyle while bombs fall on innocent people in Ukraine”European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on March 11.

Historically poor relations between Finland and Russia have further deteriorated since the start of Russian operations in Ukraine on February 24. Finnish public support for potential NATO membership has reached a record high of 62%, according to a poll published in mid-March, reflecting the country’s growing concern for its security in the face of an increasingly unsuspecting Russian neighbor. Traveling to Brussels, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto pledged on Thursday to clarify the government’s position in the coming weeks towards a hypothetical entry into NATO. Such a convergence ‘It would be a strategic mistake’ and one A horrific tragedy for all Finns.On Wednesday, a Russian senator commented on what was reported by the RIA Novosti news agency, which is close to the Kremlin.

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