Finnish Security Dilemma, NATO and the Factor of Eastern Europe

733
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-3-13-20

K. Khudoley (k.khudoley@spbu.ru),
St. Petersburg State University, 7/9 Universitetskaya Nab., St. Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation;
D. Lanko (d.lanko@spbu.ru),
St. Petersburg State University, 7/9 Universitetskaya Nab., St. Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article considers security dilemma as a tool to assess domestic discussion on possible NATO accession that has been taking place in Finland since intensification of the conflict between Russia and the West after 2014. The authors reveal that the ongoing Finland’s domestic discussion on NATO seriously differs from the discussion that took place in Finland after the fall of the Iron Curtain in late 1980s – early 1990s. On one hand, some participants of the ongoing discussion fear that if the country joins NATO, some of its member states’ reckless foreign policies might result in dragging Finland into an armed conflict against its will. On the other hand, some other participants fear that even if the country joins the Alliance, some other NATO member states might abandon Finland in case of an armed conflict on its territory. The study finds that participants of the discussion most often refer to East European NATO member states, including Greece, Turkey and post-Communist countries, when they talk of possible dragging of Finland into an armed conflict. Whereas they mostly refer to West European and North American NATO member states when talking about possible abandoning of Finland in case of an armed conflict. Thus, the article concludes that the divide between Eastern and Western Europe is essential for the Finland’s domestic discussion on the Alliance. Most of its participants perceive Finland as a West European country and are aware that all countries which acceded to NATO since 1982 (when Spain joined the Alliance) were East European countries. The extent to which participants of the discussion favour NATO membership will depend on the character of its future enlargement. If more East European nations join the Alliance (for example, Ukraine or Georgia), more participants of the Finland’s domestic debate will perceive the country’s accession to NATO negatively. If, however, some currently neutral West European nations decide to join the Alliance (for example, Sweden or Ireland), it will contribute to emergence of more positive attitudes towards NATO in Finland.

Keywords: Finland, NATO, security dilemma, regional approach, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia


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For citation:
Khudoley K., Lanko D. Finnish Security Dilemma, NATO and the Factor of Eastern Europe. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, No 3, pp. 13-20. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-3-13-20



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