Finland's embassy and consulate in Russia have had their bank accounts frozen and the Nordic country has had no explanation from its neighbor, its foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
Finland, which has a long border with Russia, formally joined NATO on April 4 in a historic policy shift brought on my last year's Russian invasion of Ukraine that drew a threat from Moscow of counter-measures.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters the bank accounts had stopped working on April 27.
"The accounts of Finnish embassies have been frozen in Russia and at the moment they cannot be used," Haavisto said, adding the missions had been using cash reserves to pay bills.
Russia's central bank did not respond to a request for comment on the freezing of the Finnish accounts.
Haavisto said that while sanctions imposed on Russia had made money transfers harder, "maybe it was not thought through how serious consequences this would cause to Finnish embassies."
What freezing their accounts really means
He said freezing the accounts amounted to "bullying," referencing the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 which is meant to safeguard diplomatic missions abroad.
"This is a matter that cannot be decided by banks," he said.
Haavisto said some European Union countries had experienced problems with their bank accounts but declined to name any.
Finland had sent Russian authorities a notice on May 4 requesting that Russia ensure the missions' ability to function and asking for an official explanation for the freeze, but it had not received one so far, Haavisto said.