Containing Coexistence: America, Russia, and the "Finnish Solution"

By Jussi M. Hanhimäki | Go to book overview
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What does all this mean? What is going on in the Kremlin?

It seems as though the Soviets are trying to have good relations with the rest of the world--including Finland. This is a delightful thing.

-- J. K. Paasikivi, April 6, 10, 1953

The department realizes [that] the Finns have had long, intimate and at times unfortunate experiences with the Russians and know a great deal of them, their methods, their objectives, and their tactics. However, experience has also shown that at times people who know the most about the Russians and feel they know how to deal with them have been known to be entrapped and subsequently enslaved.

-- John Foster Dulles, January 15, 1954

We have to take into account this Soviet fear of Germany, because it affects directly their attitude towards us.

-- Urho K. Kekkonen, August 23, 1954

When Prime Minister Kekkonen glanced at Stalin's body on the evening of March 8, 1953, one can only guess what he was thinking. Surely Kekko­ nen must have been wondering what the passing of the Soviet leader would mean to the East-West confrontation and to Finno-Soviet rela­ tions. Would the Soviets change their foreign policy? If they did, would the change be a positive or a negative one for Finland? More importantly, which of the men following Stalin's casket--Malenkov, Molotov, Bul­ ganin, Khrushchev, Beria--was (or were) to be the new leader(s)? Al­ though Kekkonen himself believed that there would be no significant change in Soviet policy vis-à-vis Finland despite the death of the long­ time dictator, he could scarcely have been untouched as he witnessed the passing of an era in world history and must have been somewhat con­ fused about the prospects for the future.1


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