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Old 13th Jun 2014, 13:30   #1 (permalink)
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Russia Warns Sweden and Finland Against NATO Membership

Russia Warns Sweden and Finland Against NATO Membership

HELSINKI — Finland and Sweden have both rejected claims, made by a senior Russian adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that “Russophobia” is pushing the two non-aligned Nordic states “dangerously closer” to NATO. Finnish officials described the “Russophobia” claim, made by Putin’s senior political adviser, Sergei Markov, as “unfounded” and “alarmist,” while Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the embedded meaning in Markov’s remarks smacked of a return by Russia to old school “Cold War intimidation.”

“Finland should think of the consequences, if it ponders joining NATO. It must ask could joining start World War III? Anti-Semitism started World War II. Russophobia can start a third world war. Finland is one of the most Russophobic countries in Europe, after Sweden, Poland and the Baltic countries,” said Markov in interviews with Swedish and Finnish media. NATO, said Markov, had no positive role to play in European defense as it is, according to the political adviser, “an organization virtually controlled by the United States.” Similarly, Markov described the European Union, and its 28 member states, as “colonies of the US” with no truly independent security or political policies...............
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Old 13th Jun 2014, 13:53   #2 (permalink)
 
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Standard divide and conquer rules, intimidation and fear by a has been country trying to revive old glory because it hasn't got what it takes to evolve.
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Old 13th Jun 2014, 14:48   #3 (permalink)
 
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If Sweden and Finland stayed out of NATO 1948-1990 why would they want to join now?

things were a hell of a lot worse 25+ years ago
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Old 13th Jun 2014, 15:58   #4 (permalink)
 
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And if Finland really is 'Russophobic', I wonder just why that might be?

Ooh, let me see now...
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Old 13th Jun 2014, 16:01   #5 (permalink)
 
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At least the discussion was dead in Sweden in the former Days. Now politicians talk about it quite often. I think there is a misunderstanding about making the costs going down if joining NATO.
...And that there has been so much cutdowns that there really isnt that much left and ppl starting to feel unsafe.
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 08:09   #6 (permalink)
 
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"And if Finland really is 'Russophobic', I wonder just why that might be?

Ooh, let me see now..."

Actually during and after the Cold War Finland did pretty well out of the USSR & Russia - they played the Hong Kong role - amazing how much western goods were "sold" in Finland...

And an awful lot of Finns speak Russian
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 10:20   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe we ought to start calling Putin and his advisors "The Borg"...

Last edited by ORAC; 14th Jun 2014 at 10:54.
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 10:46   #8 (permalink)
 
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Given Russia's history with regards to their neighbours is it any wonder that folks with such a country on their doorstep are a little Russophobic?
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 20:06   #9 (permalink)
 
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Perhaps (a perceived) reduced risk of nuclear war leads to enhanced risk of conventional war?
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 20:28   #10 (permalink)
 
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“Finland should think of the consequences, if it ponders joining NATO. It must ask could joining start World War III? Anti-Semitism started World War II. Russophobia can start a third world war.

I always imagined that they were already members! Anyway as for the reason for the start of WWII not my understanding of history. I think we are long way off from World War III even with events in Ukraine. But if we do, God forbid, even move close to aggression between Russia and the West then Russia herself must surely been seen as the aggressor. What is it with that country, the rest of the world has moved, even China is looking forward not back.

Tom
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 21:13   #11 (permalink)
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What is it with that country, the rest of the world has moved, even China is looking forward not back.
Nervous? Lots of porous space, megalomaniacs trying to capture Moscow. Most of the western world invaded in 1919. Surrounded in the cold war. Huge loss of traditional territories post-cold war. Add in economy and you can understand them a bit more.
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 21:48   #12 (permalink)
 
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The words "blow me" come to mind, but that I suppose is not really a diplomatic response to send to Putin
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 23:04   #13 (permalink)
 
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And an awful lot of Finns speak Russian
Recollect, on first visit to Helsinki in about 1963, noting that people who spoke an arcane language like Finnish, also spoke Swedish and English. Respect!
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Old 14th Jun 2014, 23:07   #14 (permalink)
 
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The words "blow me" come to mind, but that I suppose is not really a diplomatic response to send to Putin
Actually there the kind of words he understands, diplomatic responses are a laugh to Putin.

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Huge loss of traditional territories post-cold war. Add in economy and you can understand them a bit more.
As someone said, even China is looking forward, and frankly it looks like their even more evolved as a country than Russia. Though I'm not convinced that they have gone past the economic expansion by force method yet. I think it really depends on how long the Yanks can keep it together.

The fact that Russia is warning people of dire consequence if joining, is pure and simple stand over tactics, terror and fear, some thing the Russians are a natural at.

Putin is not an idiot, neither are the other senior Russian advisors, they know all well NATO is just a defense pact, the only threat from the west is countries that join, prosper. (well sort of prosper, a bit like three steps forward, two back)
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 09:22   #15 (permalink)
 
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Living in Finland and being married to a Finn, perhaps I can give my opinion.

The matter of NATO membership is discussed continuously here.

In the last few years Finland has been moving to the right.

At the moment, the President and the strongest party (Kokoomus - similar to the UK Conservatives) lean toward joining NATO.

Historically the SDP has run the government and held the presidency.

They traditionally played both sides and recently it has been suggested that, at least one, ex President was too close to the Russians.

Together with the centre and left parties they are against joining NATO.

The other main party is the True Finns (akin to UKIP), they are rising in popularity because of their charismatic (for want of a better word) leader Timo Soini.

Like many of their policies I am not sure whether they are for or against NATO membership - they seem to be hedging their bets.

Unless things change they and the right will be the main, governing, parties after the next election (2015?) - the Socialist parties are waning in popularity.

People are getting fed up with more taxes to fund social handouts and Southern Europeans (it's all south of Finland!!).

Will Finland join NATO - probably not unless Sweden decides to join (my view).

The Finns I know do not trust the Russians, both collectively and individually.

They see them as bullies in the world.

Burglaries, car stealing etc - it must have been a Russian!!

Finns perceive them as buying up all the summer cottages.

Likewise, most Finns I know cannot understand why the US, and to a lesser extent the EU countries, seem to insist on getting involved in "other peoples wars".

Basil

In my view not many Finns speak Russian.

Swedish (Finland's second official language - about 6% speak Swedish as their mother language and go to Swedish speaking schools) is (was until last year?) compulsory in all Finnish schools.

Most people speak English, having learnt it at school, and a few of the older generation can speak German (hang over from WW2).
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 11:54   #16 (permalink)
 
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Very interesting post finncapt.


I would think the best outcome for both Finland and Sweden would be not to join NATO as this will wreck their relationship with Russia. But to in effect stay neutral and work with both sides. They did this so well in the cold war and faced down the mighty USSR. One would think in this modern age that reaching an understanding with modern Russia would be far easier.
I am really not a fan of NATO and its member states often pointless wars.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 12:11   #17 (permalink)


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I would think the best outcome for both Finland and Sweden would be not to join NATO as this will wreck their relationship with Russia.
Probably not as much as being invaded by Russia though, and there is a precedent in history for Russia annexing part of Finland, and in more recent history of Putin doing everything he can to recreate the Russian/Soviet empire. It is hardly surprising that the Finns (and Russia's other neighbours) do not trust the Russians with Putin in charge.

He is a danger to world peace and although I too am opposed in principle to blocs such as NATO, if I lived in Finland I would be very concerned about security.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 12:23   #18 (permalink)
 
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Capetonian, I would say the greatest threat to world peace would be the US government blundering around the world from one disaster to another. (Just look at Iraq and Libya right now)
I think in this day and age the idea of Russia invading Finland or Sweden is very unlikely. If they are worried simply keep and maintain a strong independent military of their own. Putin really is not so bad, he was forced into the actions he took in Ukraine by the western back coup. What exactly did western leaders expect him to do. He also managed to prevent a western backed war in Syria that would have helped Isis and other terrorists.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 12:40   #19 (permalink)


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Ronald Reagan : I completely agree with you, Obama is the greatest danger by far to world peace but Putin's meddling is likely to provoke US intervention, which is why he is a danger, even if only as a catalyst.

Agree too that that Russian invasion of Finland is unlikely, although it does have territorial claims, and Sweden even less likely, but there a risk of them invading ex USSR territories who don't toe their line.
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Old 15th Jun 2014, 14:31   #20 (permalink)
 
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I'm interested to know what territorial claims Russia would have on Finland.

As far as I am aware, it is the other way round and Finland could arguably have territorial claims against Russia.

Several parts of Finland were ceded to the Russians at the Moscow peace treaty in 1940 (which ended the Winter War 1939 - 40) and Finns would argue that they wanted those parts back.

I think after WW2 there may have been more territory ceded to Russia but am not certain.

From time to time various groups call for the parts of Karelia which were ceded to be returned.

The general consensus, and the government line, is that this is not going to happen.

One of the things which always amuses me, is that Russians who want to travel from, say, St. Petersburg to Murmansk find it easier to use Finnish roads - roads in Finland go south to north whereas in Russia they radiate from Moscow - making that journey difficult within Russia.
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