Russia may be linked to Quran burning in Sweden, says Finnish FM Pekka Haavisto

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Russia may be linked to Quran burning in Sweden, says Finnish FM Pekka Haavisto

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto speaks with the media as he arrives a gathering of EU international ministers on the European Council constructing in Brussels on Monday. AP File

New Delhi: Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has claimed that Russia may have been behind the general public burning of Quran in Sweden final week and mentioned that the stunt may have been orchestrated to derail the nation’s bid to be a part of NATO.

“This matter is under investigation. Various ties in the activist’s circle have been uncovered. I cannot say with certainty … But we have been shown a concept of how to act in order to inflict maximum damage (to the NATO membership bid),” Russia Today quoted Haavisto as saying to Finnish TV channel Yle on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist from Denmark, acquired permission from police to stage a protest outdoors the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm the place he burned the Quran. Days later, Edwin Wagensveld, Dutch chief of the far-right Pegida motion in the Netherlands, tore pages out of a replica of the Quran close to the Dutch Parliament and stomped on them.

The strikes angered tens of millions of Muslims world wide and triggered protests.

On Friday, Paludan, who holds each Danish and Swedish citizenship, advised Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that he would replicate the protest in entrance of the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen each Friday till Sweden is admitted into NATO.

Another report in Guardian claimed that the Quran-burning incident in Stockholm that threatens Sweden’s bid to be a part of Nato was funded by a far-right journalist with hyperlinks to Kremlin-backed media.

According to the report, Swedish media have reported that Paludan’s demonstration allow of 320 Swedish krona (£25, $31) was paid for by a former contributor to the Kremlin-backed channel RT, Chang Frick, who now does common media spots for the far proper Sweden Democrats. Frick has confirmed he paid for the allow to maintain the protest, however denied he had requested anybody to burn the Muslim holy guide.

The exploit has sparked criticism throughout the Islamic world and deepened a stand off with Turkey over Sweden’s bid to be a part of Nato, which requires the approval of all 30 member nations.

With inputs from businesses

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