Neighbouring Russia causes business problems in Finland

Instead of branding Finland as the “happiest nation in the world”, Business Finland now describes it as a stable Nordic society. [Shutterstock/Kekyalyaynen]

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


Since the war started in Ukraine, foreign investors and employees view Finland hesitantly due to the 1,300-kilometre-long border with Russia, with some even considering it a possible risk factor. Read more.



Greece, Cyprus and Malta block sanctions against Russia-owned ships. The governments of Athens, Nicosia and Valetta have blocked sanctions aiming to ban Russian ships or those with Russian interests from EU ports, EURACTIV Greece has learned. Read more.



Macron holds rally in Marseille to win over Mélenchon voters. With just a week to go before the final round of the presidential election, President Emmanuel Macron held a rally Saturday in Marseille to win over young people who overwhelmingly voted for rivals Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen in the first round. Read more.



Austria wants to prosecute Russian war crimes. The justice ministry has confirmed its intention to order the public prosecutors’ office to begin to clarify “the requirements for domestic jurisdiction in the case of war crimes,” press agency APA reported. Read more.



Dutch Patriot missile system arrives in Slovakia after convoy collision. The Dutch Patriot missile unit arrived in Slovakia after one of the three convoys suffered a collision in the Czech Republic, the NL Times reported. Read more.



Archbishop condemns Rwanda asylum plan. The backlash against the UK government’s controversial £120 million plan to outsource the processing of thousands of asylum seeker claims to Rwanda continued over the weekend with criticism from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Anglican Church. Read more.



Swedish minister promises tough response to violent protesters. Protesters who attacked the police during riots in Norrköping and Linköping will face a “tough” response,  Interior and Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told a press conference on Sunday. Read more.



Italian ports now off-limits for Russian vessels. Italy has banned Russian-flagged vessels from its ports from Sunday as part of the EU’s fifth sanction package against Russia. Read more.



Spain keeps face mask rule in public transport and health centres. Face masks will be mandatory in public transport and health centres “with no exceptions” as of Wednesday, Health Minister Carolina Darias has warned. Read more.

Spanish Hipra vaccine to soon join EU market. The Spanish DNA-based vaccine produced by Hipra pharma could soon be made available.

The Hipra vaccine has achieved 100% efficacy in humanised mouse models and could be approved for human use in the EU “by the end of May or early June”, science minister Diana Morant has said, EFE had reported.

According to the pharma company, the new vaccine will be cheaper. It will also grant a higher level of protection and be easier to store than the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna. A total of 103,266 people have died in Spain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to official data. (Fernando Heller |



Slovakia offers to repair Ukrainian military equipment. Slovakia has offered to repair Ukrainian military vehicles in a factory in Moldava Nad Bodvou, near the Ukrainian borders, defence minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) announced. Read more.



Wounded Ukrainian soldiers to be treated in Polish hospitals. Some Ukrainian soldiers wounded in fighting are being taken to Polish hospitals for treatment, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. Read more.



Czech FM says Russian ‘ban’ on weapons export to Ukraine is nonsense. Russia’s demand to stop arms exports to Ukraine does not make any sense, the Czech foreign ministry said after Russia told the Czech Republic in a diplomatic note that they were banned from sending weapons to Ukraine. Read more.



Third of young Hungarians would try their luck abroad, survey reveals. The number of young Hungarians considering moving abroad has reached a high, K&H Bank found in a representative survey commissioned for the first quarter of its 2022 youth index, Telex reported via MTI. Read more.



Experts: US delays F-16 fighter jets over trust issues with Bulgaria. The delay in delivering the new American F-16 fighter jets may be due to a lack of trust in the Bulgarian authorities, which have not proven that they can reliably protect NATO secrets, two former Bulgarian defence ministers have said. Read more.



Croatian inflation highest since summer 2008. Prices of goods and services for personal consumption, measured by the consumer prices index, were on average 7.3% higher this March than the previous year, the Croatian statistical office (DZS) said. Read more.



World Bank concerned by Ukraine war impact on Serbia’s energy dependence. The consequences of the war in Ukraine will be devastating for Ukraine and Russia, World Bank chief economist for Europe and Central Asia, Asli Demirguc-Kunt, said on Saturday, adding that the war would also affect the Western Balkans and that energy dependency was a serious concern in Serbia. Read more.



Germany suspends project financing in RS over BiH obstruction by Serbia. Germany has suspended the funding of infrastructure projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Serb entity Republika Srpska because its political leaders are obstructing the work of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s central authorities and bringing its stability into question, the foreign ministry said. Read more.



Foreign embassies tell Kosovo government not to speculate after police attack. EU and US Embassies in Pristina have called on the Kosovo government to refrain from speculating on the origin of a firearm attack that targeted their police on the border with Serbia. Read more.



Albanian ‘ministry of propaganda’ not based on German model. The Director of Albania’s controversial Media and Information Agency (MIA), Endri Fuga, claimed that the institution is based on the German model, but EURACTIV Germany confirmed this is not true. Read more.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]

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