The Finnish Defense Forces do not comment on the decision to bar Russia’s Kruzenshtern barque from docking at Mariehamn, in the demilitarized province of Aland, Army Communications Chief Eero Karhuvaara told on Tuesday. “I can confirm the ban, but we do not comment on it,” he said. According to Karhuvaara, Russian diplomats were informed about the ban.
Meanwhile, sources in the Russian embassy in Finland told that they could not provide more detailed information. “In due course, the Russian embassy’s consular department requested the Finnish authorities to provide permission to the Kruzenshtern to visit the Aland Islands. They rejected the request and refused to clarify their reasons,” an embassy spokesman said.
According to earlier reports, the Russian embassy informed the barque’s captain about the decision that the Finnish authorities had made.
In the summer 2017, the Kruzenshtern visited Finland’s Kotka and Turku without facing any issues.