THE WAR in Ukraine could initially lead to shortages of natural gas and fertilizer raw materials in Finland, believes Janne Kankanenthe director of the National Emergency Supply Agency (HVK).
“The indirect and ripple effects of war can also be felt in different ways here,” he said in a press conference Thursday in Helsinki. “In addition to energy and natural gas security, we pay particular attention to securing inputs for primary production with respect to seasons coming after the current harvest season.”
“We are talking about longer-term preparation.”
Russian natural gas is a significant problem, especially for businesses, as it is difficult to replace with imports from other parts of the world. Oil purchases, on the other hand, have already been diverted away from Russia.
Känkänen said Finland had prepared relatively well for situations such as the crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The country has large stocks and an emergency supply network of about a thousand companies. Compulsory, security and emergency stocks contain a quantity of imported fuels which would suffice for five months of regular consumption and a quantity of cereals which would suffice for six months of regular consumption.
Stocks, he recalled, are the last resort to guarantee security of supply and availability of critical goods and raw materials.
War can nevertheless have an impact on security of supply through a number of factors, according to Känkänen: sanctions and counter-sanctions, disinformation and influence campaigns, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, and attempts disrupt or even damage physical targets.
“Finland’s security environment has fundamentally changed. There is a need to look at the preparedness level of society,” he added.
Some have blamed cyberattacks for the recent disruptions of satellite positioning services in the center and east of the country. Laura Ruotsalainenassociate professor at the University of Helsinki, Tuesday declared at Helsingin Sanomat that the scale of the disturbances indicates that they were caused by Russia.
The disruptions began last weekend and their cause remains unknown, according to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom).
Jari Pontinenthe director of aviation at Traficom, revealed in Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday that an SAS aircraft detected signal disturbances at the border between Finland and Norway on Wednesday.
“The plane was en route from Kirkkoniemi to Oslo,” he said.
Rauli Paananenthe national director of cybersecurity at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, reiterated on Thursday the message sent earlier by several policymakers: it is not known whether the disruptions were caused by Russia.
Paananen said the central administration did not suffer any unusual attacks or influence campaigns during the war in Ukraine. Finland, he added, has observed, suffered and blocked the same phenomenon of cyberattacks – whether malware, espionage or denial of service – that has been targeted in recent years against the ‘Ukraine.
“Despite the crisis in Ukraine, the national cybersecurity situation is normal,” he said.
“We can’t say anything about specific malware, for example, because the techniques are constantly evolving. But I speak of this specifically as a phenomenon.
The Finnish government is reportedly in talks on allocating additional funds to build cyber defense capabilities. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said earlier this week that cybersecurity legislation should be read for any shortcomings.
“We have to sift through the legislation for holes. If there are holes, you have to be able to plug them and do it quickly,” she added. declared during a Question Time debate in Parliament on Wednesday.
“It’s a matter that concerns me deeply personally as well.”
Paananen said on Thursday that a review of material and human resources would be warranted in addition to measures already introduced to build capacity. “Competition for experts in this field has been fierce for some time now, and we need to make sure there are enough resources,” he said.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT