Finland fears being targeted by Russian intelligence
In May, the Kremlin called Finland’s accession to NATO a threat to Russia, stressing that the bloc’s expansion would not make Europe or the world more stable.
Finland’s intelligence agency said that joining NATO would make the Nordic country more targeted by Russia to gather information.
“The risk of information gathering and influencing Finland’s critical infrastructure has increased in both the physical and cyber environments, as a result of Russia’s military campaign and Finland’s accession to NATO,” he said.
Finland’s Intelligence and Security Service (SUPO) today released its national security assessment.
“Future NATO membership will make Finland a vulnerable target for Russian intelligence and influence activities,” the assessment reads.
according to SUPO, Russia’s intelligence and security services are increasingly targeting foreigners living in Russia or visiting the country.
Russians working in the West can also be targeted for gathering information when they visit home.
“The traditional approach of Russia which is the use of personnel under the guise of diplomacy.
But this approach is becoming increasingly difficult to do after Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine, as many Russian diplomats have been expelled by the West,” SUPO said.
The risk of corporate espionage from Russia has also increased, as Western sanctions force Moscow to deploy high-tech production to replace imports, supo added. “This makes Finnish businesses need to pay more attention to data security.”
Russia has not commented on this information.
Finland the country of 5.5 million people, applied to join NATO alongside Sweden in July. Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russia, the longest of any European Union member state.
All 30 NATO members must approve applications from Finland and Sweden.
Slovakia’s parliament on September 27 approved it, becoming the 28th country to approve Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
The other two countries that have not yet ratified are Hungary and Turkey.