BBC: What does Finlandization refer to?

Wieslander: It refers to the status of Finland during the Cold War when they had to enter a friendship cooperation and mutual assistance pact with the Soviet Union in 1948 and how they managed their relationship with the Soviets after that. Basically, limiting their sovereignty and space of maneuver to a very large extent, being very compliant towards the Soviet Union. If the Soviet Union thought that Finland should not join the EC or EU or NATO they did not. They did not criticize the Soviet Union officially any ways. Kept very close ties economically, socially.

[Finland was] not neutral in the way that Sweden was neutral, able to balance between the East and West and do things with the US. Finland was supposed to be outside the Soviet Union. It had its own defenses. But there was no doubt that if there was a major clash between East and West during the cold war Finland would definitely be within the Soviet Union’s sphere from the Start. 

BBC: Is it a possible solution for Ukraine? 

Wieslander: I don’t think so at all. There is a romantic aura around this term, which does not apply. It’s dangerous because Ukraine has been striving towards the West. To become members of the EU. To become members of NATO in the long run. They want democracy. They want a free market. They want a better situation on human rights. And Russia cannot offer any of that. 

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Related Experts: Anna Wieslander