Finland says no to Arla’s ‘Putin cheese’

Finnish food authorities have rejected the Danish dairy's plans to unload surplus cheese produced for Russia onto the Finnish market.

Finland says no to Arla's 'Putin cheese'
The Russian president after taking a whiff of 'Putin cheese' (just kidding, Vladimir, lighten up). Photo: Marko Djurica/Scanpix
Danish dairy giant Arla thought it had found a solution to the negative impact of Russia’s ban on Western goods: send it to Finland. 
But Finnish authorities have scuppered Arla’s plans to unload cheese produced for the Russian market onto the Finns. 
According to Finnish broadcaster YLE, the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira rejected Arla’s proposal to sell Russian-labelled cheese in Finland. Arla’s Finnish competitor Valio, however, was given approval for a similar move. Valio, according to YLE, is much more dependent on the Russian market share than Arla. 
The director of Arla’s Finland unit, Reijo Kiskola, told YLE that the dairy company would accept the decision. 
“We would have liked to introduce our so-called Putin cheese products, but it was not permitted,” Kiskola said. 
Arla announced in August that it was cutting 79 jobs as a direct result of the Russian ban on Western food and agriculture products. The company has ten dairies in Denmark that produce goods for Russia. 
“Production for the Russian market has been experiencing strong growth over the past years so it can definitely be felt when a market like Russia is suddenly shut completely down,” Arla’s senior vice president, Lars Dalsgaard, said at the time. 

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Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes

Denmark's government on Friday decried two Russian aircraft violating Danish airspace and summoned   Moscow's ambassador over the incident.

Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes
Russian MiG fighter jets. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

The defence ministry in one NATO’s founding members said fighter jets had been scrambled to counter the incursion on Friday,  Ritzau news agency reported.

“Completely unacceptable that Russian planes violate Danish airspace, even twice in one day,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a post to Twitter.

Kofod added that the repeat violation made it look like a “deliberate action”.

“We are still examining the details, but I have already taken the initiative to summon the Russian ambassador for a talk at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs,” the foreign minister said.

The violations had occurred over the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden.

“It is very rare that we see this type of violation of Danish airspace, so two in the same day must be deemed to be serious,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen told Ritzau.

According to the agency, Russia has repeatedly flown over Danish airspace and in August 2020, a Russian B52 bomber also flew over Bornholm.