Katja Marova, a member of the 37,813-strong community (2022) who holds dual Russian and Finnish citizenship, admitted that her stress level rose thanks to recent statements by presidential candidates concerning banning dual citizenship for Russians.
“This is scary and has raised a lot of conern among Russian speakers in Finland,” said Morova.
Katja Marova was attracted to Finland by its peaceful life. You need a lot of time to move about St. Petersburg. There is also a different type of freedom in Finland to do things. Souce: Mikko Savolainen/Yle
Apart from a clear example of shameful xenophobia by politicians who should know better, the dual citizenship debate has popped up in the media a number of times. it has been mentioned by politicians like President Sauli Niinistö since 2014.
The reason why the “dual citizenship” issue has not gone anywhere despite opposition to it is because of our constitution and EU laws. You cannot single out or discriminate against a group. If Finland wants to do away with dual citizenship, then it would have to abolish it for all nationalities.
National Coalition Party (NCP) candidate Aleksander Stubb, who did not mind labeling all Russians in Finland as a potential threat, openly supports scrapping dual citizenship rights of Russians. He argued that “a debate is needed on the matter” because Vladimir Putin will go to any lengths to defend its citizens abroad.
“Then we need to find some kind of system to prevent this security threat from materializing,” he added.
Sure Stubb, we’ll have a productive discussion on the topic after you label and demonize Russian speakers in Finland for your own political aims.
Of the nine presidential candidates, only two (Jutta Urpilainen and Li Andersson) were against scrapping dual citizenship rights of Russian speakers in Finland. Even the favorite in the polls, Pekka Haavisto, together with Olli Rehn and Mika Altola didn’t go as far as Stubb, Jussi Halla-aho and Sari Essayah, but were ready to stop granting dual citizenship to Russians in the future.
“One of the mattters that has changed since we spoke about two years, is that Russian speakers [in Finland] are more outspoken,” she said. “They undertand that if they do not speak out for their rights, nobody will.”
Marova said that a group has founded Aleksanderiliitto association, a new association that aims to look after the legal rights of Russian speakers in Finland.
The new chairperson of the association, Rostislav Vladimirskiy, was quoted as saying in Yle that the issue is open dialogue with the government and the right of citizens and residents in the county to move freely.
“We do not want the Russian government to interfere in any way [with our activities],” said Vladimirskiy. “We are not in contact with the Russian authorities, the Russian ministry of foreign affairs or the Russian embassy.”
Apart from suggesting doing away with dual citizenship rights, it is ok today for far-right and mainstream politicians to appear “normal” in the media after making unconstitutional statements, like one by the speaker of parliament, Jussi Halla-aho, who wants MPs and ministers to be natives.
Even if the government has vowed to fight racism, Ville Tavio, minister for development cooperation and foreign trade, warned that the far-right great replacement theory is true. Both Tavio and Halla-aho, who are members of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, tried to support each by stating that Finland is in danger of being overtaken by “foreigners.”
On Tuesday, a PS deputy councilperson Jari Nalli from the same city as Marova posted on Facebook that people who cross the border “illegally” should be shot.
Finnish media and politicians normally call asylum seekers crossing the border “illegally” (sic!).