As we analyze Finland’s effect on peace in the Nordics, we must first go back in history to get a base of comparison from earlier actions. In Finland’s current action safety policy is ruled by defense policy, and foreign policy is left as a secondary method. This is a result of joining the EU, partnership with the military alliance NATO and military cooperation with many other nations. Finland doesn’t strive to be a neutral nation anymore, and the goal isn’t to stay out of major power’s conflicts of interest.
After Finland became independent in 1917, a class-war started in January 1918. The war ended in the victory for the bourgeoisie in summer 1918, after the bourgeoisie had called in the help of German soldiers. Over 40 000 fighters died in the war, most of which were workers. After the war over 80 000 reds or people suspected to be reds were jailed in poor conditions in prisons set up by the bourgeoisie. Some of them were executed, some died of illnesses and hunger, and some were released.
The bourgeoisie felt grateful towards Germany for the victory granted to them as the parliament decided to form a kingdom in 1918. The king was already chosen to be the Duke of Hessen from Germany, Friedrich Karl. Germany lost the First World War in 1918 and in December 1918 the king declared his abdication. Finland was made into a republic afterwards.
The bourgeoisie had great power after their victory in the class-war and practiced strict class-control over the workers. The bourgeoisie’s fist was the fascistic Lapua-movement, by whose impact the parliament accepted the communist laws in 1930. Communists’ and leftist workers’ movements were banned. Publishing of leftist newspapers was banned, printing presses were destroyed, gatherings were banned, activists were imprisoned, and seven members of the parliament were prevented from joining the parliaments work. Same happened in many counties, where leftist political figures’ activity was obstructed. The list of the bourgeoisie’s and its fascistic fist’s atrocities can go on for very long.
The bourgeoisie molded the people’s opinions heavily in the 1920s and 1930s, with anti-Soviet rhetoric and a goal of expanding national living space. Greater-Finland idea was reinforced. Due to this, Finland fought the Winter War against the Soviet Union in 30.11.1939-13.3.1940. Already at the end of summer 1940, German troops landed in Vaasa and advanced to Northern-Finland. As Germany attacked The Soviet Union in 21.6.1941, Finland was by its side, advancing in the war deep into Soviet territory past the city of Petrozavodsk. Finnish troops also sieged Leningrad. There were around 213 000 German soldiers of the 20th mountain army in Northern-Finland during the assault against the Soviet Union.
The war ended in defeat for Finland in September 1944. A new period of democratic development was made possible in Finland. Communism laws were repealed, communists received the right to public activity, as did the most leftist workers’ movement. Fascistic organizations were banned.
Neutrality and non-alignment furthered peace, which is now threatened.
The allies, Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain and France dictated the terms at the Paris peace treaty for the loser countries who fought alongside Germany. Finland was declared guilty and the treaty obliged Finland for territorial transfers towards the Soviet Union, to pay war reparations to the Soviet Union and the treaty defined Finland’s army’s manpower and quality and quantity of weapons. Procuring weapons from Germany was banned and so was procuring nuclear weapons. As the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991, Finland declared unilaterally the arms restrictions void.
To prevent a war between Finland and The Soviet Union, The Soviet Union suggested the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (YYA) to Finland. The pact was accepted on 6.4.1948. The pact’s main purpose was to prevent an attack at the Soviet Union from Finland’s territory. Many diverse and mutually beneficial relations were created by the basis of this pact. The YYA-pact was the basis of Finland’s new foreign policy of peace and neutrality. Supporters and defenders of this new foreign policy were the greatly strengthened peace movement and the Finnish-Soviet Friendship Association.
Once one of the symbols of the peace movement was making the Baltic Sea the sea of peace, and President Urho Kekkonen’s proposal of making the Nordics free of nuclear weapons was widely known.
The most important part of Finland’s defense policy was foreign policy, which highlighted neutrality, especially concerning major powers.
One big overture in international action happened in 1956 when, by President Kekkonen’s proposal, Finland partook for the first time in the UN’s traditional peacekeeping operation by sending soldiers to Suez in the Middle-East. Both sides of the UN’s operation, who had reached an armistice, accepted the arrival of the UN troops who created a buffer zone between both sides.
The situation has changed after the Bosnia War, when the UN has given peacekeeping operations to NATO, EU, OSCE, African Union and Australia. The operations justification is the sugarcoated notion of trying to create conditions for permanent peace for the quarreling parties, to separate them from each other or to support local governments. Supporting local governments is precisely the reason why the UN’s military departments work as a part of wars and are heavily armed. Being part of a war hasn’t always meant supporting the local government, but the supported side is chosen by imperialist justifications.
Currently Finnish “peacekeepers” are working in UN’s, NATO’s and EU’s operations in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, The Mediterranean and the Middle-East. Finland’s participation is marked with one common quality, the desire to be part of the West’s imperialist world redistribution.
The events in Europe in 1999 tell of the change in Finland’s safety policy in the post-Soviet era. Finland has been a member of the European Union since 1995.
Finland’s president Martti Ahtisaari together with Russia’s Baltic-envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin visited Serbia to pressure president Slobodan Milosevic threatening him with NATO bombing. They reached their goal when NATO with EU’s approval started bombing Serbia for 78 days on 24.3-10.6.1999. Germany was the chairman nation of the EU then, and the two leading nations besides Germany were the previous chairman nation Austria and the upcoming chairman nation Finland, whose chairman term started on 1.7.1999. Finland’s prime minister at that time was Paavo Lipponen (social democrat). For his merits as a “peace mediator”, President Martti Ahtisaari (social democrat) was later granted the Nobel peace prize.
Goal of the Imperialists: “Northern dimension”, increased military activity in the background.
When evaluating Finland’s place in Northern-Europe as Russia’s neighbor and the increased military activity in the Nordics and the Baltics, it is good to note that the European Union accepted Finland’s initiative of the “Northern dimension” in 1997 as its policy. Naturally the creator of the initiative was agreed upon, Finland is Russia’s neighbor after all. In the “Northern dimension” policy the EU has set Russia’s north-western natural resources as strategic resources for the EU. This colonialist political/economic project by the EU and the west is also implemented militarily. Finland for their part implements nearby area cooperation with Russia, as documented in the initiative.
Even though Finland is sometimes portrayed as a bridge builder between the east and the west in the media, Finland has in the recent decades taken the initiative to shaken the stability of the Nordics. Especially during the presidency of Sauli Niinistö Finland has been made a frontier post against Russia.
Below are examples of Finland’s military alliance with other imperialist.
-In 2014 Finland signed a “Host country” agreement with Nato. The agreement was signed by the commander of the Defense forces with President Sauli Niinistö present. The parliament didn’t deal with the agreement, even though the agreement doesn’t set any limitations to what kind of situation Nato troops can enter Finnish territory, what strength they can enter with, or what kind of armaments. Nuclear weapons also weren’t mentioned.
-Finland is a part of the Nordics’ defense alliance Nordefco, British led JEF standby forces, a similar German alliance, France’s E12 intervention initiative and EU’s more centralizing defense cooperation. In addition in the recent years a project called NATO+2 has been developed, in it Finland and Sweden together with NATO prepare to counter the threat of Russia on the Baltic Sea.
-Last September the defense ministry joined a USA started artificial intelligence-cooperation, which develops nations’ military cooperation.
-USA troops perform military drills together with Finnish troops in Finland.
-Finland takes part in NATO’s quick response troop’s activities.
-Finland takes part in the EU’s battle departments’ activities.
-Finland leads the Helsinki based EU hybrid competence-center, which has the goal of bringing NATO and the EU closer together.
-Finnish people also take part in NATO’s cyber safety- center’s activities in Estonia.
In addition to Finland’s and other Nordic- countries’ activities, the stability of northern- Europe in the area of the Baltic Sea has been affected the most by the Baltic countries joining NATO in 2004. Their airspace is constantly under supervision, NATO’s air-sea and ground-surveillance’s radars scan the Baltic Sea’s land and sea-areas. Different countries’ military units are constantly practicing in different arms in land-sea and air-drills under the guidance of NATO.
Military drills have also increased in the Nordics’ land-air and sea-areas. In the north on land and air. USA troops have participated in military drills on Finnish territory.
Finnish tabloids and state media writes about the constant threat, which is Russia. In reality NATO, EU, USA, the Nordics and the Baltics have themselves weakened the stability of northern-Europe and themselves form a threat to peace, not Russia.
Influencing and opinion molding towards capitalism is done by pro-capitalists in many different ways. The Nordic Council, which was founded in 1952, is the area’s countries’ parliamentary body that has permanent bodies. The Council has worked to create a common political position for its member states. Once it was pulling its member state Finland away from close cooperation with the Soviet Union. Now the Council has created an operational context towards Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to organize the Baltics into a general assembly. The Baltics do proclaim themselves to have always been part of the Nordics and aim to bring the entirety of the Nordics to be full members of EU and NATO.
In the post-Soviet era, new organizations have been founded as the imperialists’ interest in the North’s natural resources have increased. Climate change has accelerated this interest. The area’s affairs are handled by many agencies in different contexts, but the Council of the Baltic Sea States of 1992 and the Arctic Council of 1996 have been founded in the name of bourgeois democracy. Russia is also part of both.
Even though the bourgeoisie and supporters of the system try to paint a picture of the Nordics as an area that was a stable area of peace if there was no threat from Russia, that picture doesn’t match reality. The reality is that the imperialist powers USA and EU also strive for the East, an example being NATO’s expansion to the borders of Russia. Because the Nordics are allied to imperialism’s core, the Nordics might become the springboard for military attacks in the East and North. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, Finland was its springboard. Only by peace-wanting citizens can this be avoided from happening again.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Finland has sought to commit to the west. The peaceful people’s strength hasn’t been strong enough to defend Finland’s independent neutrality driven foreign policy and to stop the safety policy from becoming solely defense policy. Peace organizations carry on like decades ago as supporters of state policy, even though the state’s policy has changed. Maybe the reason is money. In 2020 nine peace organizations received in total 500 000 euros as operating aid from the state. Peace organizations are almost quiet and people aren’t raised in defiance, even though Finland is about to purchase fighter jets costing 10-20 billion euros. Some organizations at most are for postponing the purchase. And this isn’t the only weapons purchase. Finland is constantly acquiring warships and all sorts of others weapons, likewise more military drills are conducted and Finnish soldiers attend military drills abroad.
Communists in Finland as well as in other countries in the Nordics have a grand task ahead of them, stopping the progress of the warmongers. It’s imperative to expose the nature of capitalism, and the conglomerates and bourgeoisie governments inside it, and their connection to benefitting from wars at the expense of workers and peoples suffering. In wars, workers have to fight against each other. That we must prevent.