“We would say that the book really encourages bribing, and we are absolutely of the opinion that one must not allow instructions on bribing to be published in an instruction manual we are supporting financially,” Bo Goeran Eriksson, head of the trade department of the Trade and Industry Ministry, told AFP.
His department contributes 430,000 euros (557,000 dollars) annually to the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, set up to foster trade relations between the two neighboring countries.
The book is doubly embarrassing as Finland is considered the least corrupt nation in the world, and both bribing and incitement to bribery are strictly illegal.
The content of the book, originally published two years ago, only became widely known Friday when the leading daily Helsingin Sanomat highlighted a chapter in which Finnish companies give examples of how they bribed Russian officials.
When contacted, the trade body denied any wrongdoing. “These are examples, not instructions. I don’t feel that we should feel remorse because companies have given examples of their experiences in Russia,” Mirja Azeem, chief executive of the chamber, told AFP. “The book is a description about how real life is in Russia.”