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Current Affairs

Finlandization

Date: 23 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Amidst the crisis in Ukraine, the possible solution to the problem could be ‘Finlandization’ of Ukraine.

 

Background

The major reason for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the threat of Ukraine joining NATO. This has now vanished after Ukraine president ruled against joining.

 

Details

  • Several rounds of talks have taken place between Russia and Ukraine to arrive at a possible solution without any clear solution.

  • French President Emanuel Macron had suggested ‘Finlandization’ model as a possible solution to prevent future crisis.

  • The Finland model looks uncertain after Russia’s attacks have devastated large parts of Ukraine and US President accusing Russian president as war criminal.

 

The Finlandization policy

  • It is the strict policy of neutrality between West and Russia that was followed by Finland during the cold war era.

  • The policy was derived from the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance that Finland signed with the USSR in April 1948.

 

Idea behind policy

  • The treaty protected Finland from being attacked or incorporated into the USSR like the Baltic and eastern European states.

  • It allowed Finland to engage in its democratic path and capitalism by keeping the two super-powers at bay.

  • Finland refused to be part of Marshall Plan and followed neutral position on matters on which the Soviet Union and the West disagreed.

 

Benefits of the policy

Finland followed this policy and refused to join NATO. It used this positioning to avoid pressure from Moscow to become part of the Soviet bloc or the Warsaw Pact.

 

Finlandization for Ukraine

  • Ukraine must function as a bridge between West and Russia if it wants to survive and prosper.

  • Ukraine must have the right to choose its economic and political associations freely, including with Europe.

  • Ukraine must not join NATO. It must be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people.