It is not hard to find parallels between Russia’s ferocious and, for the time being, frustrated invasion of the Ukraine and the Soviet Union’s military campaigns in Finland during World War II. Both are similar in the disproportion of the opposing armies, in the Kremlin’s miscalculations, which can only be explained by arrogance and corruption, and in the feats of two impetuous resistances.
History has not yet written the fate that awaits brave Ukraine, but the price Helsinki had to pay for fending off threats from Moscow. He gave up a good part of the rich region of Karelia, which then represented 30% of its GDP and which now belongs to the Leningrad oblast, and promised a bad name neutrality which was partially unraveled with the fall of the Soviet bloc, and definitively in 2022.
Helsinki was once the meeting point of two irreconcilable blocs, the West and the Soviet Union, capital of the agreements that cemented the end of the Cold War and the creation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Finland was, for decades, the closest European country to Russia. A free and democratic state, spiritually Western and fully integrated into the EU since 1995. But with undeniable commercial, geographical and historical links with Russia.
Last fall, just 24% of Finns supported their country’s entry into NATO. But it has not been the diplomatic action of Europeans and Americans that has reversed these data to raise the statistic to 76%. They have been the carnage perpetrated by Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine and the constant threats from the Kremlin propaganda which have moved the Alliance lines to a hundred kilometers from St. Petersburg.
Helsinki yesterday took a brave and definitive step, difficult for the Kremlin to digest. For years, the Russian regime threatened to punish the Nordic republic if it took the plunge. A step that forced him to resign after the Second World War.
The Alliance is committed to accelerating the process of accepting Finland, to which Sweden may join. Their additions will represent, when they come, the success of democracy over autocracy and courage over nuclear extortion. The new test, in the words of Nicholas of Peterabout what “NATO has not moved East, but East to West to get away from Russia.”
Vladimir Putin he is the instigator of his own tragedy. The words with which the French president, Emmanuel MacronNATO described. Like “a brain-dead patient.” But the Russian autocrat, in his effort to restore the lost empire, has revived the organization to unimaginable limits. He promised to stop NATO’s expansion into Ukraine, and has pushed Finland into it as a result.