Originally posted by Vozda
Could only find this onthe Swedish news paper
Russia is furious about Finland coperation with NATO and training excercise ...
Well I'm a Finn and in Finland, and I've read the whole speech of general Makarov, and many newspaper articles about it, so maybe I could help you
First of all, the people of Finland have always voted against joining to NATO. The people have very high will of national defence, and desire to do
that independently. Despite of this, the political leaders of Finland, especially the conservatives, have gradually merged Finland as a partner to
some NATO co-operation. The relationships with Finland and Russia are very friendly. Finnish and Russian heads of state visit each others quite
About the speech of the commander of the Russian military, general Makarov.
Russia or Makarov weren't furious at anything. That's a wild exaggeration. Quite the contrary, he emphasized the friendly relationships between the
countries and thanked the non-alliance politics of Finland. But there was concern. He did rise the issue of Finland's recent co-operation with NATO,
and NATO military exercises Finland has participated, as well as the military exercises near the Finnish-Russian border. He did say at certain
conditions that could be a threat to Russia.
I'll translate some key points (as Finnish does not translate well with translation machines). Even though I use quotation marks for clarity's sake,
the translation is mine.
You can find the speech in this URL, it's in Finnish, but use a translator:
This about the relationship of the countries:
"The historical closeness of our countries helps to strengthen the diverse relationships between our ccountries. The military co-operation is
delelopping actively. The staff of the head quaters negotiate regularly. Different level military delegations meet regularly each others. I'm hoping
also this visit helps to advance the friendship between Finland and Russia.
In International relationships Russia aims to continue developping friendly relationships and expand co-operation with countriess... As an example of
of this political course could be the acts of Russia developing trust and friendly relationships with Finland. During the last 15 years we have
considerably reduced our military units against the Finnish border. By January 1st 2008 Russia had reduced her Leningrad region military forces over
Our own measures confirm the friendly course with the Finnish relationships, which is reflected with the political, economic, cultural and other
Russia views positively the Finnish foreign politics line of non-alliance, and the regional co-operation developping which benefits both countries.
I want to emphatize once more, that the Russian measures to renew our armed forces are not aimed against friendly countries. What comes to Finland, we
believe that Finland remains non-allied and will not join NATO, and that the military co-operation between our countries continues to increase."
Here is the part that caused the big news headers in the newspapers:
"But it disturbs remarkably the development of relationships between Russia and Finland, that Finland aids the influence of NATO in the arctic
regions without Russia.
According to our specialists the practical participation of Finland with NATO's ”Nordefco” co-operation and military exercises with NATO proves,
that Finland is gradually joining with the NATO action circles. In some conditions this can even cause a threat to Russia's security
It also rises questions that Finnish defence forces have increased their activity near our area. The military planes of Finland regularly fly 10km
away from our border. Everybody knows that the military forces of the eastern province helds annually military exercises that are named "East". It
rises a question against whom and why the military exercises are held.
We are also worried the military co-operation of Finland and Georgia."
Well I can answer to that question about military exercises in the eastern Finland. Yes, they are aimed mainly against Russia. Yet, this shouldn't
concern Russia. It's natural, comparing the military foces between the nations. Finland needs to stay sharp. It also helps Finland to remain
General Makarov also expressed the hopes of Russia that the Arctic Sea region would not see growth of militarization, and that they would reach an
agreement with NATO of co-operation in the missile defence systems rather than opposing each others.