Russia informed Finland that it will end deal on military visits: Defense ministry

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Russia has informed neighboring Finland that it will terminate a bilateral agreement on mutual visits to military installations, the Finnish defense ministry said late on Tuesday.

The bilateral agreement, signed in 2000, provided for one annual Russian assessment visit to Finland and a similar visit by Finland to the Leningrad Military District in north-west Russia, the Finnish ministry said in a statement.

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Finland last month joined the NATO military alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, drawing a threat from Moscow of “counter-measures.”

The bilateral agreement, last applied in 2019 before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, was among several post-Cold War measures taken to improve East-West relations.

The broader Vienna Act, agreed within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which also provides for mutual inspection and evaluation visits, would not be affected by the termination, Finland said.

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