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

By Jussi M. Hanhimäki | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE
"Bridge-building" versus "Finlandization"-- The Enduring Dilemma

Finland has not been the cause or object of any international conflict, and this has played its part in the fact that Finland has been able to further international efforts for the settling of conflicts and the development of a peaceful world order. Characteristic of our foreign policy is our activity in ever wider international forums, especially in the framework of the United Nations and an increasing participation in new international tasks. . . . All this has been possible only because Finland's relations with her neighboring areas are stable and without conflict.

-- Urho K. Kekkonen, September 11, 1971

Finland is something of a model and the Soviet leaders regard it as such. If Poland and Hungary constitute one example of a close relationship between the Soviet Union and its smaller neighbors, Finland provides another. Under certain conditions, this kind of relationship might spread to other parts of the globe. Those "certain conditions" are to some extent already visible in Europe.

-- Walter Laqueur, 1977

The comparison that has been drawn between Finland's position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and that of Western Europe is neither fair to the Finns--whose position is not at all that weak or humiliating (they have materially increased their freedom of action in the last 25 years)--

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