Finland’s Relations with the Soviet Union 1944–84 by R. Allison

By R. Allison

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Extra resources for Finland’s Relations with the Soviet Union 1944–84

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The Western powers were aware of Finland's exposed geographical position and were not oblivious to the sensitivity of the Soviet Union to developments in the Nordic region . 44 The American State Department considered Finland a special case , and felt that she could be relied on to set definite limits on Soviet influence. In a review of July 1947 the director of the Office of European Affairs told the Secretary of State that Washington should refrain 'from acts in Finland which might reasonably be regarded by the USSR as a challenge to its essential interests' i" It appears that Washington made no attempt to induce Finland to become associated with Western security arr angements in the late 1940s.

The Swedes contended that if Sweden were to join the Western alliance system this would lead to changes in favour of the USSR in Finland. In October 1948 the Swedish Ambassador in Washington, Boheman, argued to the acting Secretary of State that a major reason for the mild Soviet policy towards Finland was based on the theory that a harsh policy would frighten Scandinavia into close military cooperation with the West. 4H The American Ambassador in Moscow, General Bedell Smith , had to admit that there might well be some truth in the argument that Moscow's policies towards Finland were moderated by a desire to prevent Sweden from joining the Atlantic Alliance .

The Soviet view was determined by the fact that unlike in the case of the 1947 treaty the USSR had not been a signatory to the Aland Convention in 1921. Soviet attacks on the self-government bill became more virulent after summer 1950. The bill was described as a continuation of the wartime policies of 'Finnish reaction' aimed at using the Aland Islands 'in the future as a base for an attack on the Soviet Union. ,87 In Stockholm Soviet pressure on Finland over the islands was instead Reconstruction of Finnish-Soviet Relations 1944-56 35 believed to portend future Finnish-Soviet negotiations about changing them into a Soviet military base .

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