Finland blacklists Putin's name by mistake, apologises

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Helsinki, April 12: Finland has tendered an apology to Russian President Vladimir Putin after its police mistakenly put him on a blacklist of people having connections with criminal activity.

Seeking to avoid a diplomatic row with its dominant eastern neighbour, Helsinki removed Putin's name from the list which is not public. However, the inclusion of Putin's name was revealed by Finnish broadcaster MYV3 earlier on Wednesday.

Authorities acknowledged the list's existence and said the Russian President's name was included accidentally but had been deleted later. Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen officially expressed apologies to Putin for the incorrect registry entry. Finland's police chief Mikko Paatero also regretted over the incident.

Police said it was not clear how Putin's name was included on the list and was probing the matter.
Finland had suffered heavily in the Winter War and the Continuation War against the erstwhile Soviet Union in the 20th century although the official relations between the two neighbours have been largely cordial, with Helsinki choosing to back policies which will not annoy Moscow.

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