Politicians talk about unfavorable scenarios for Finland
04 Jul 2018, 03:01 ( 2 Months ago) | updated: 13 Jul 2018, 22:29 ( 2 Months ago)
While Finnish politicians and media have rejoiced in the selection of Helsinki as the site for the mid-July summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, they have also expressed openly concerns about the negative implications to Finland from some possible results.
Two leading Finnish parliamentary experts on international security said on Tuesday that any mutual acceptance of Crimea as part of Russia, which has been speculated to be one of possible measures to ease east-west tension at the Helsinki summit, would be embarrassing Finland.
Interviewed on national radio Yle, Matti Vanhanen, chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, reminded that the 1975 Final Act on Security and Co-operation was signed in the Finnish capital.
"Helsinki is thus the least possible place where the Helsinki Declaration would be used just for wiping the table," he said.
The Helsinki Final Act, referred to by Vanhanen, defined ten principles for the relations of countries, including the inviolability of borders, the integrity of states and refraining from the use of force. It was signed by 33 European states, the U.S. and Canada.
Interviewed jointly with Vanhanen, Ilkka Kanerva, chairman of the parliamentary defense committee, said the scenario would mean that international law and agreements would be pushed aside. "It would be a dramatic turn in the U.S. foreign policy," he said.
In a security policy analysis, the evening paper Ilta-Sanomat on Tuesday said any pullback of the U.S. from the European military scene would have direct repercussions on Finland.
"If Trump withdraws militarily from Europe, that part of the Finnish military doctrine that is based on bilateral exercises with the U.S. could end up in the waste basket," it said.
The paper added that also any understanding between Putin and Trump on stopping the expansion of NATO would mean that Finland remains in the vestibule of NATO. "Thereafter defense cooperation via the European Union would be the only way for Finland to seek a place in international security structures," Ilta-Sanomat wrote.