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What are the chances of Finland to remain neutral?
Material posted: Publication date: 28-04-2018
The neutrality of Finland has a short history. It is limited to the stage of the Cold war and twenty-five years after its completion.

The policy of neutrality pursued by President J. K. Paasikivi, was a real policy to protect the choices were made before neutrality was necessary.

Finnish neutrality to which the country came after the Second world war, was not legally formalized. Besides, he had limitations. Finland signed with the USSR bilateral Treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance in 1948 nevertheless in the 80-ies of XX century Finland actually became a recognized neutral state.

In 1991, Finland terminated the Treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the Soviet Union, only to immediately make a new one. The main security plan should recognize the fourth paragraph, according to which Moscow and Helsinki has promised not to allow its territory for armed aggression against the other party and not to assist the aggressor military assistance.

But after the collapse of the USSR, the Finnish security policy began to change. Fundamental changes in this area were due to Finland's accession in 1995 to the EU. This step was preparing since 1991. This first affected the policy of neutrality of Finland. At the official level, it was recognized that with the demise of the bipolar world and the country's accession to the European Union disappeared, the very basis for such a policy. In a special government report to Parliament 1995 the term "neutrality" had no[i]. Content of the national policy in the field of security was recorded in two constants: "military non-alignment" and "self-defense" (this wording was developed in 1992). Finnish foreign policy now depends on the decisions of Brussels.

Finland increased its cooperation with NATO in 1994 the country joined the program "Partnership for peace", and in may 1997, to the Council for Euro-Atlantic cooperation as a partner country. Finland has sent its peacekeepers in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. In recognition of the officers of the Alliance, the Finnish army meets all NATO standards. But the Finns never crossed the red line then.

How much their opinion on this issue changed? Finland, like any small country bordering a big, very nervously perceives any movement of this great country. Many people in Finland think that the reason for membership in NATO more than ever. These grounds - the threat from Russia, which is expressed in the "role of Russia in the Ukrainian crisis," and in the war with Georgia in 2008. In addition, Moscow, according to them, she provokes Helsinki to become part of the Alliance, and while "Russia is not a threat to Finland", "the situation is unpredictable".

The likelihood of Finland's accession to NATO, although the outcome is not guaranteed. More than 60% of Finns consistently say in polls that they are against joining the Alliance. The population of Finland understands that NATO membership is associated with additional costs. So, if a referendum on joining NATO was held in the near future, the Finns would vote against such a scenario. NATO is now the course to all countries that are members of the Alliance, increased military spending to a certain percentage of GDP. And Brussels in this respect is trying hard at all to push. In conditions of difficult economic situation in the world of unnecessary spending and expenses rational Finns do not want

In addition, there is the factor of distrust towards NATO. Those Eastern European countries that had joined NATO, I understand that in the event of a serious force majeure Europe to take risks for the Baltic States and even Eastern European countries will not. Moreover, by joining NATO, Finland will become only a tool for a new tightening the belt around Russia. The Finnish leadership was aware: after joining NATO the country will undergo the most serious and large-scale infrastructure changes that will carry the Alliance. Finland is one of the few countries that objectively realizes that the base are bumps, speaking in military terms.

So how big a chance that Finland will join NATO and lose your neutrality? Chances are very high. Although the people of Finland are strongly against such developments, we must not forget the case of Montenegro. In this country most of the population a very negative attitude to such perspective, but their opinion was not taken into account. Therefore it is impossible to expect that anti-NATO sentiment in Finnish society will serve as an absolute obstacle to the country's accession to the Alliance. Nevertheless, the Finnish government remains neutral, which provides the country with more opportunities of cooperation with other States. However, we cannot exclude that in the future the U.S. will increase pressure on Helsinki to add NATO to the Treasury of another country bordering Russia.

 

[i] Zharsky A., Korshunov E. Northern neighbors: a farewell to neutrality / Anatoly zarsky, Edward Korshunov // Voenno-promyshlennyy Kuryer: Internet site. 2010. 3 Mar. No 8 (324). URL:http://vpknews.EN/articles/5540.

Tatiana Ivanova

Tags: Europe , security


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