Finland, or at least Finland's territorial area, grew by around 700 square kilometres last week, mainly to the south and west of the country.
The Finnish government implemented this small exercise in territorial expansion perfectly peacefully by formally ratifying legislation on Finland' s maritime economic zone. It is based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and on bilateral agreements with the countries concerned.
Finland will henceforth have broader claims on the sea bed in the economic zone, and on the exploitation of any natural resources found there.
The new legislation also provides more extensive powers in the field of environmental protection, and indeed this is seen as the main thrust of the move, as it will make it easier for Finnish authorities to stop ships illegally dumping oil or other chemicals at sea, and to bring transgressors in front of a Finnish court. These powers will come into force from February of next year.