RUSSIA is secretly buying up plots of land in Finland to prepare for an invasion, the country’s intelligence service has spectacularly warned. Security police force SUPO claimed foreigners were purchasing sites in Finland to house Russian troops, according to Finnish tabloid Iltalehti. A SUPO report submitted to a parliamentary committee reportedly warned: “These measures may be caused by preparations to influence a forthcoming crisis situation.
“They could be land transactions, which do not appear to be business or related to the normal real estate value.” The agency added that the land purchases could be used by a “foreign state in a crisis situation to take advantage of, for example, the closure of transport routes or unmarked accommodation of troops”. SUPO said new purchases of plots inside Finland were being “constantly detected” and could be used as temporary accommodation for soldiers ahead of an offensive.
Finland is thought to host one of the highest levels of foreign agents in the Western world.
Its proximity to Russia means it could play a pivotal role in escalating east-west tensions.
Many Finns hold dual Russian citizenship and there are close cultural ties with the country.
Russia used underhand tactics to prepare the ground for the annexation of Crimea and claims of land purchases will raise fears that the Kremlin is planning a similar incursion into another of its neighbours. Finland is thought to host one of the highest levels of foreign agents in the Last month, Jussi Niinistö, the Finnish Defence Minister, accused Russia of acting in a “completely unpredictable manner”. He said: “They shocked the entire world with their invasion of Crimea, for example, and the resulting crisis in Eastern Ukraine with its hybrid war. “Russia is trying to stake out its place on the world map and regain respect. “It thinks fear will instil this respect.
“Now that it is participating in the Syrian war, it indicates that Russia is pursuing the superpower position that it indisputably held during the Cold War.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Cold War has returned, but there are certainly clouds in the sky that resemble parts of the Cold War conflict.”