The government of Finland on Thursday has proposed a bill that would restrict real estate transactions involving foreigners that could threaten “national security.”
The draft, which comes in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, includes an amendment to a 2020 law which states that transactions by individuals or companies from outside the EU must always be approved by the Defence Ministry.
“The context behind the bill is Russia’s war against Ukraine,” Central Party legislator Joonas Kontta, a member of the Defence Committee, confirmed. He said the bill targets primarily Russians and the associated security risks.
The amendment would come into effect by early next year.
The new rules are to give officials of the Ministry of National Defense extensive powers, “from the point of view of national security” to probe major real estate transactions and sources of financing them, stated in the justification a project prepared by the cabinet of Prime Minister Sanny Marin, leader of the Social Democrats.
The time for the investigation by the ministry would be extended – in relation to the regulations already in force – from three to four months. The state would have priority to purchase real estate if it is located within 1 kilometre of military facilities and the Border Guard.