HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland did not pay a ransom for the release of a Finnish aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan, the Nordic country’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
“Finland has not paid, and will not pay ransom in the future. If we did, we would only encourage further kidnappings,” Foreign Minister Timo Soini told a news conference via videolink from Washington.
The ministry confirmed earlier on Thursday that the Finnish woman, who was abducted in May and held captive for 118 days, had been released.
She was working for a Swedish aid group in Kabul and during her abduction a German colleague and their Afghan guard were killed.
The foreign ministry gave no further details about the kidnapping or the release, but said the woman was in Afghanistan and in “good condition in light of the circumstances”.
Kidnapping is a longstanding problem in Afghanistan, mainly affecting Afghans abducted for ransom. However foreigners have also regularly been targeted, either for ransom or to put pressure on their governments.
Reporting by Tuomas Forsell and Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Catherine Evans