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Old May 7th, 2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact


Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact




Finland and Sweden are looking into pooling their defense resources as the crisis in Ukraine shifts the Nordic states’ military-policy focus to protecting their home turf from participating in international peacekeeping.
The countries yesterday agreed to conduct a study by October to find ways to ensure that money spent on arms will stretch a longer way.
Cooperation will begin next year with a focus on 2016 and beyond, according to Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund and his Swedish counterpart Karin Enstroem.
Finland and Sweden aren’t members of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, though they joined the European Union in 1995.

Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border with Russia - - more than the other 27 EU members combined -- and fought two wars against the Soviet Union during World War II. Popular opposition has stopped the two countries from joining NATO.
“We have a neighbor who has demonstrated a couple of times in the past six years that military power and the threat of using it are simply instruments in the political toolbox,” Charly Salonius-Pasternak, security policy researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, said by phone yesterday.
“For a small nation, this is a terrifying idea.”

Strategic Blow

Popular opposition to joining NATO has centered on the belief that Russia is becoming slowly more democratic and that economic ties will keep conflicts from escalating, Salonius-Pasternak said. That argument has now “received a strategic blow.”
According to NATO, Russia has amassed about 40,000 troops along the Ukrainian border since annexing Crimea in March, prompting the worst standoff with the U.S. and the EU since the Cold War.
Developments in the crisis in the past few days are “highly alarming,” the government in Helsinki said in a statement today. It urged parties to refrain from rhetoric and measures, which would escalate the crisis further.
Finland sells about 10 percent of all exported goods in Russia, its biggest trade partner.
More than 80 percent of Finland’s imports from its eastern neighbor are energy products, including 100 percent of natural gas used in Finland, according to data by the customs office.
The defense cooperation announced yesterday is limited to peacetime, according to the ministers.

Still, it also implies improving potential war-time capabilities, Salonius-Pasternak said. “No reasonable politician can any longer say that the situation is as before and that Russia’s increasing military might poses no problems,” he said.


....


source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...id=yhoo.inline
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:00 PM   #2
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

Finland should just join NATO. I doubt an alliance of Finland and Sweden would be enough to defend against Russia. NATO, on the other hand, would be a threat ensuring Russia will not attack Finland.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

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Originally Posted by August View Post
Finland should just join NATO. I doubt an alliance of Finland and Sweden would be enough to defend against Russia. NATO, on the other hand, would be a threat ensuring Russia will not attack Finland.
And why should Russia want to attack Finland?
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

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Originally Posted by A Magicman View Post
And why should Russia want to attack Finland?
Well, that quesion was asked before.
But Russia did attack Finland, on November 30, 1939.

No one knows for sure why country do what they do, especially USSR and Russia. Or I guess we know, but we don't want to believe it.
That is how the Finns felt just before the attack.
The Finns are forgiving bunch, balaming the system, not the people.

And while you're at it, you can also ask this "Why did Germany attack many of its European neighbors?"

Here is an article back in 2010.
Quote:

“Why would big USSR want tiny Finland?” The Winter War remembered

Published time: June 21, 2010 06:16
Edited time: June 21, 2010 06:16





Anniversary, EU, History, Military, Russia

It was a war one of the sides involved would rather forget, while the other fights to keep the memory alive. Finns are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the start of the Winter War against the Soviet Union.
After months of ultimatums, on November 30, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland.
With a sizeable advantage in manpower, tanks and aircraft, the Red Army command expected victory within weeks.


“We could not understand why. The Soviet Union was so big, so why would they take something from us?” says Lars Loflund, Finnish war veteran.

Just months earlier, the Soviet Union and Germany had signed a non-aggression pact, which contained a secret protocol dividing North and East Europe into spheres of influence. Finland fell under the USSR's.
That fitted in with Stalin's plan to expand the Soviet border from its second city of Leningrad. However, the Soviet Union had underestimated the Finns




The Finnish Commander, General Mannerheim, had ordered the construction of a powerful line of fortifications.
Although poorly equipped, the defenders knew the rugged terrain, and were better prepared for the plunging temperatures.


“In the conflict zone there were no roads, no settlements – just forests and lakes. Nothing to get your bearings from”, says Viktor Lavskiy, Russian War Veteran, adding, “The soldiers and the equipment were not ready, and the reconnaissance was insufficient.”

As losses mounted, the Soviets pumped more and more troops into the theater of conflict to finally break through the Finnish fortifications. Despite making inroads, the cost of the war was proving too high for the USSR.


On March 12, 1940, it accepted the offer of a ceasefire less than six months after the first shots were fired.

While Finland ceded around a tenth of its territory, it retained its independence.
It had been a short but bloody war. Twenty-five thousand Finns were lost, but the number of Soviet casualties was up to five times that amount.


“During Soviet times, people were reluctant to even mention this war.

It was difficult, not particularly successful, and however you try to spin it, the Soviet Union was the aggressor,” says Aleksandr Golubev, Historian from the Russian Academy of Sciences.


In Helsinki, commemorations of the Winter War are everywhere.
Local celebrities chose the city’s biggest mall to hand out badges in support of the few surviving veterans.
“These guys saved us and that is why we live in Finland today,” Mati Vatanen, singer with the Leningrad Boys, told RT.


There are exhibitions which remember the fallen, though the mood is solemn, not defiant.
One Finnish war veteran, Lars Loflund, believes there was nothing wrong with the Russian people. It was the system that was wrong.


After World War II, Finland would go on to become one of the USSR’s closest partners in the West.
Despite the passage of time, it is clear that in Finland, the Winter War is forever frozen into the nation's conscience.



source: http://rt.com/news/finland-soviet-war-anniversary/
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

We are talking about 2014, aren't we?

European countries have become a lot less adventurous after 2 huge wars have devastated their continent twice.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

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Originally Posted by A Magicman View Post
We are talking about 2014, aren't we?

European countries have become a lot less adventurous after 2 huge wars have devastated their continent twice.
Russia attacked Ukraine in 2014.
There was ethnic war in former Yugoslavia

And I would think, the Finns and the Swedes know better that you do.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

Finland and Russia have always have cordial relations during the Cold War and in the subsequent decades so this is ridiculous. As for NATO membership I'd imagine both countries don't want to be at the beck and call of the whims of the USA and UK when it comes to sending troops abroad in the future.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

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Originally Posted by tennisbum79 View Post
Russia attacked Ukraine in 2014.
There was ethnic war in former Yugoslavia

And I would think, the Finns and the Swedes know better that you do.
Russia has not attacked Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine is imploding on its own.

Ok, so the thread can be closed I guess if they know better than me. And certainly you.

Thought it was open for discussion and not only information.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:44 PM   #9
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

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Originally Posted by KournikovaFan91 View Post
Finland and Russia have always have cordial relations during the Cold War and in the subsequent decades so this is ridiculous. As for NATO membership I'd imagine both countries don't want to be at the beck and call of the whims of the USA and UK when it comes to sending troops abroad in the future.
What do you know that the Finns don't?
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:48 PM   #10
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Magicman View Post
Russia has not attacked Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine is imploding on its own.
So Russian has not annexed Crimea
They have not caused havoc in Eastern Ukraine

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Magicman View Post
Ok, so the thread can be closed I guess if they know better than me. And certainly you.

Thought it was open for discussion and not only information.
The dicussion is on going.
I don't have to agree with your statement.

Let the Swedes and Finns take a crack at your question "Why would Russia attack Finland"
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:53 PM   #11
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

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So Russian has not annexed Crimea
They have not caused havoc in Eastern Ukraine

a) They did after a referendum. Which was not "attacking".

b) That's what the (western) media want to make us believe, yes. I still haven't made my opinion on that cos I find 40-100 burnt Russians in Donezk pretty disturbing and that does not fit into the picture portrayed in our media.
Still I see no Russian troops in Ukraine, which is quite necessary for attacking. Unless you lead the "Drone wars". Then you can do that pretty much from your living room.


Quote:
Let the Swedes and Finns take a crack at your question "Why would Russia attack Finland"
I'd gladly do, cos one might think Russia has enough swamps, birch trees and moskitos already.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:54 PM   #12
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact



I'd just mail Putin a picture of this guy.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 04:19 PM   #13
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

When it comes to the Finland-USSR relations during the cold war, I've understood it so that Finland had to please USSR in foreign policy. No direct control from Moscow but anything pro-West/anti-USSR could've created a conflict. For example, that's why we became EU members only in the '90s. And that thinking has kept us away from NATO. There's the fear that joining NATO would cause a conflict with Russia who feel threatened. On the other hand, e.g. Baltic countries had the same situation and they joined NATO around ten years ago. Of course, it seems like Russia has now military power than back then so joining NATO now might be more risky.

A common NATO policy in Finland is that we follow what Sweden does. But I have a fear regarding that. Sweden doesn't have threats at the moment. They don't have to worry about Russia attacking immediately, Finland is the buffer between them. I'm afraid Sweden might be willing to join NATO only if a conflict between Finland and Russia arouse, and Sweden didn't anymore have the buffer. At that point, it would be too late for Finland to join NATO.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:49 PM   #14
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

Personally, I've always thought Finland got a bad rap from a lot of Western politicians, especially conservative ones. IMHO they pursued a very pragmatic policy given their situation and I remember reading an article in Jane's about all the ways the Finns jacked with the USSR--one example being they had to deploy an equal amount of equipment along both borders, so the western border had a bunch of World War II vintage crap that was literally rusted into place while the east had modern equipment in top condition. But per their treaty with the USSR, the numbers were equal.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 01:22 AM   #15
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Re: Russian Aggression Prompts Finnish-Swedish Military Pact

Even the usually even-keel, measured Canada has had enough.

Quote:

Canada imposes new sanctions against Russia



OTTAWA — Canada continues to protest Russia's behaviour in Ukraine, announcing Thursday it has suspended exports that could aid the Russian military.
"Nothing will be approved which could benefit the military in Russia," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in the Commons.


Canada doesn't sell much military equipment to Russia, an arms producer in its own right, but does sell software that could be used for military purposes.
Baird's announcement came as Russia signalled it was sending its troops amassed along the border with Ukraine back to their bases — a sign perhaps the Kremlin wants to lower tensions in eastern Ukraine.
Russia annexed Crimea earlier this year, which prompted Canada, the U.S. and European countries to impose minor sanctions and travel restrictions on key Russians — penalties that have mostly been ineffective

source: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/05/08/...against-russia
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