Russia-owned arena in Finland could be confiscated for debt
One of Finland’s largest arenas might be confiscated since its owners, Russian oligarchs under European Union sanctions, have failed to pay for the rent in time, according to local media reports.
Helsinki Halli, which can host more than 15,000 people, is located on a rented plot of land in the FInnish capital, which until recently was duly paid for.
The last instalment in the amount of 100,000 euros due in mid-July, however, was unpaid. Should the next payment, due in mid-October, be left unpaid as well, the local authorities will have legal grounds for confiscating the arena.
Before that, the Helsinki authorities had no right to take control of the shares of the company that runs the arena since the rent for the land and real estate tax were paid on time.
Finnish foreign minister Elina Valtonen earlier said that the arena is owned by Russian oligarchs Gennady Timchenko and Roman Rotenberg, placed on the EU sanctions list due to their involvement in the Russian war in Ukraine.
Helsinki hopes that, in the long run, the arena will have a new private owner.
Earlier this year, the Finnish city of Turku said it would stop paying rent for a building that has been used for decades by the Russian consulate for free.