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Finnish Firms Selling High-Tech Goods to Russian Buyers With Security Service Links – Yle

The Finnish-Russian border. Sergei Grits / AP / TASS

A number of Finland-based companies are exporting high-tech goods to Russian buyers with known links to Moscow's defense industry and intelligence services, Finnish broadcaster Yle reported Monday, citing customs data.

At least 20 companies owned by “people of Russian origin” are either exporting goods directly to Russia or acting as intermediaries between foreign sellers and Russian buyers, according to Yle. 

Nine of the companies’ Russia-based customers have links to the Russian defense industry and intelligence agencies, such as the Federal Security Service (FSB), the report states. 

Yle's report does not specify how many companies in total journalists analyzed.

Customs data shows that the Finland-based companies have exported, among other things, sensors, diesel engines, fuel pumps and transmission equipment.

As Yle notes, similar goods have been found in Russian equipment and weapons destroyed on the battlefield in Ukraine, but the outlet says that it is unclear as to whether Russia's military has used goods exported by the Finland-based companies.

The report does not mention any of the Finland-based companies' names since “they don’t hold significant economic weight and their owners have not been convicted of crimes,” according to Yle. 

However, the name of at least one Russian customer is displayed in two letters of appreciation issued by the FSB's border patrol in annexed Crimea.

The FSB border patrol credits Dieselforce, a St. Petersburg-based shipbuilding and ship repair company under Ukrainian sanctions, for “the timely fulfillment of state contracts on the delivery of goods under EU sanctions.”

In addition to the customs data, which was obtained by an unidentified foreign commercial operator, Yle said it based its report on police investigation files and court documents, as well as a commercial database.

The Finnish companies that agreed to speak with the broadcaster denied having any knowledge that their customers maintain ties with Russia’s defense industry and intelligence agencies.

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