Did Finnish President and Swedish King leave Islands abruptly amid Russian Navy drill?

Helsinki, Finland Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 10:06 PM(IST)

(Representative image) Russia holds planned military exercises in Baltic Sea. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Meanwhile, Finland is rushing to beef up security on its border with Russia in order to protect itself from hybrid threats, the interior ministry said Friday 

Disclaimer: A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While WION takes utmost care to accurately report this developing news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos. 

According to reports, Finnish President and Swedish King left a ceremony in the demilitarised Finnish region of Åland. The incident led to speculations about whether their departure was actually linked to Russian Navy drills in the region, Newsweek reported. 

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden along with representatives from both governments joined to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the autonomy of the Swedish-speaking islands of Finland. 

Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat reported that Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio left abruptly and flew back home in the middle of the festivities. However, the exact reason for the shortening of the trip is still unknown. 

Finnish Olympic athlete Aki Heikkinen tweeted: "Extraordinary: Finnish president abruptly interrupted his visit to Åland 100yrs autonomy celebrations and flew back to mainland, now also Swedish king + queen exited mid concert and left." 

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Notably, Finland is currently applying to join NATO. Moscow has warned that the bid would be "a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences". 

Meanwhile, Finland is rushing to beef up security on its border with Russia in order to protect itself from hybrid threats, the interior ministry said Friday (June 10). 

Fearing that Moscow could use migrants to exert political pressure, Helsinki plans legislative amendments that would facilitate the construction of sturdier fences on its 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) eastern border with Russia. 

Anne Ihanus, a senior adviser at the interior ministry, told AFP: "The aim of the proposed law is to improve the operational capacity of the border guard in responding to the hybrid threats. The war in Ukraine has contributed to the urgency of the matter." 

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