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Vladimir Putin's secret 'Swedish' beach plot

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Vladimir Putin's secret 'Swedish' beach plot
Vladimir Putin in Crimea. Photo: TT
16:34 CEST+02:00
Russia's President Vladimir Putin owns a seaside plot in the Swedish-speaking Åland Islands, it has been revealed.
The news emerged in a speech to Finnish war veterans, by the former Director General of Finland's National Land Survey (NLS) Jarmo Ratia.
 
He told an audience on Monday that the Russian President had access to a 17,800-square-metre plot in the picturesque Åland Islands, in an area known as Saltvik.
 
It is not known whether Vladimir Putin has been to visit the peaceful archipelago in the Baltic Sea, which belongs to Finland but is a Swedish-speaking region.
 
But Ratia confirmed that the region had had several "celebrity" visitors.
 
He said that he had received a letter and a map from the Kremlin back in 2009, ordering the NLS to register the land as belonging to the Russian Federation.
 
Attached documents suggested that the plot had been given to Russia in 1947 as part of a post-war peace treaty deal that saw German holdings in Finland passed on to what was then the Soviet Union.
 
The NLS registered the land accordingly and it has since been managed by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
 
Ratia told his audience that he had decided to talk about the case because "the situation in Europe has changed decisively".
 
Russia has carried out several military operations in the Baltic in recent months, as the Ukraine crisis continues.
 
 
"It is not forbidden for foreigners to own land in Finland," Niina Hyrsky, press spokesperson for the Finnish Embassy in Stockholm told The Local.
 
"It is an interesting story but this is not a political matter."
 
Jarmo Ratia was Director General for the NLS between 1991 and 2012.


One of the Åland Islands. Photo: TT
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