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Filling up is becoming too expensive in Finland. Photo supplied

Finnish tank tourists accused of treason

The price of petrol in Finland is becoming increasingly prohibitive for ordinary people, with many driving to neighboring Russia to fill up cheaper there. In their home country, they are labeled as "traitors".

Published: August 15, 2022, 8:49 am

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    Fuel trips to Russia to fill up on cheaper petrol are gradually being equated with high treason in public opinion, reported the Finnish television station YLE .

    With fuel becoming more expensive in the country, many solve the problem by driving to gas stations in neighboring Russia, often saving up to a few hundred euros.

    According to YLE, Finnish customs have nothing against “tank tourists”, but they carefully check all cars to ensure that drivers do not carry petrol in cans. If this is the case, however, motorists will be turned back at the border crossing point. According to the deputy chief of customs inspection in Niirala, canisters are found in cars every week and have to be returned.

    Finnish journalists questioned the sagacity of labelling Finns who struggle financially as traitors. “Are the fuel tours to Russia funding for Russian special operations in Ukraine and treason, or a sensible, necessity-driven move?”

    YLE claimed nonetheless that many Finns were opposed to buying fuel from Russia because they were not prepared to “finance Putin”, reiterating statements by Finnish PM Sanna Marin. The fact remains that many more admitted that petrol in Finland was significantly more expensive or simply unaffordable. For many it is of vital importance to buy fuel in Russia, because at current prices households cannot cope, the broadcaster underscored.

    A significant proportion of those who go to Russia to fill up have dual citizenship, according to YLE. So they go not only to buy fuel, but also to visit Russian relatives.

    After Finland joined Western sanctions against Russia, petrol and electricity prices in the country skyrocketed. The RIA Novosti news agency estimated the cost to local companies at more than 3.5 billion euros after they left the Russian market due to EU sanctions.

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