Thinking of Russia: Finnish Neutrality after the Cold War and the Influence of Russian Neighborhood on Finnish Cooperation with NATO
In recent years, Finland has closely cooperated with NATO and Finnish politicians emphasize that Finland may consider joining the Alliance at any point. However, this step is unlikely in the foreseeable future. Russia’s aggressive actions abroad disconcert Finland; as this article shows, even after Russia’s war with Georgia and the breakout of the crisis in Ukraine, the situation is not deemed serious enough by the Finns for them to risk a serious deterioration of relations with their eastern neighbor. Rather than crossing the interests of Moscow, whose perception of the world Finland has been able uniquely to understand thanks to its historical experience, the country opts for a more complex, yet also safer, path of balancing between ever-closer cooperation with NATO, and maintaining the status of a non-member country.
Keywords: Finland, Russia, neutrality, military non-alignment, NATO.