Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that he was ready to hold talks for Finland on its entry into NATO. In Finland itself, this proposal was met with no enthusiasm, the country's prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, came under criticism for suggesting the possibility of joining NATO, and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö responded to the proposal of the Estonian colleague with a streamlined words about a common defense policy within the European Union. This attitude is explained, firstly, by the fact that Finland greatly appreciates the benefits derived from neutrality in relations with Russia, and secondly, by the fact that, unlike Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Finns are used to defending themselves.
In the Finnish language, there is an untranslatable and incompatible concept in other languages “sisu”. Sisu includes at the same time courage, courage, fortitude, endurance and perseverance. For ethnographers, Sis is considered one of the defining features of Finnish national identity - it is precisely Sis that is explained by the fact that there is no future time in Finnish. For Finland, sisu is a national brand and one of the main symbols of the country.
It is this outstanding element of national culture that determines the fundamental role of the army in Finnish society. “In Finland, people who have completed military service enjoy the benefits of admission to the public service, when admitting, for example, to the police or to the judiciary. In general, the passage of military service in Finland is an indispensable condition for high social status, ”said Russian military expert, responsible editor of the National Military Review magazine Viktor Litovkin in an interview with RuBaltic.ru. At the same time, Finland is not a member of NATO, although it is located on the border with Russia, 100 was a part of the Russian Empire for years, and fought with the Soviet Union in 1939-1940.
Similar historical the background is in the three Baltic countries, however, for modern Finland, it has the opposite effects in comparison with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Instead of a policy of historical memory and an officially imposed version of history, an objective and unemotional approach to the past: that which was, that was, was conquered. Instead of geopolitical fantasies on the topic of the “buffer zone” —the maximum use of the economic benefits of the neighborhood with the gigantic Russian market, and in the political sphere — the benefits of the role of intermediary between Russia and the West. No spying, no “fifth column” - discriminated against national minorities. At the same time, the refusal to join NATO, the army as the most important, along with family and school, social institution and patriotism with a willingness to defend their home country as integral components of the ideology of the sisu.
Someone may not like such a model of society due to different individual preferences, but objectively Finnish society cannot be called ineffective. In terms of per capita GDP for the year 2013 (according to IMF statistics), Finland occupies a place in the world 15 and 8 place in Europe with 47 thousands of dollars in average annual income per inhabitant of the country. For comparison, Estonia takes 42 with 18 thousands of dollars. With an almost threefold difference in incomes and proximity of Estonian and Finnish languages, which correlate with each other roughly as Ukrainian and Russian, it is not surprising that Estonians emigrated to Finland with an endless stream, and the country Suomi was considered ideal for successful modernization since the beginning of 90's Post-Soviet Estonia.
Even more absurd in this context are the attempts of the Estonian leadership to drag its senior partner in NATO, besides playing the role of a teacher in this process.
It is precisely in this role of a mediator and mentor of “inexperienced” in the North Atlantic world of Finland that Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves seems to see himself. Receiving NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Tallinn, T. H. Ilves offered him his services as a mediator in the negotiations on the accession of Finland to NATO. It is good to initiate the Northern Partnership program, by analogy with Eastern, so that advanced Estonia could enlighten backward Finland in terms of Euro-Atlantic values in order to pull out the last of Russia's sphere of influence. Then Ilves paid a state visit to Helsinki, where he spoke to students of the Higher Courses of State Defense, urging the Finns to think about joining NATO and join the sanctions against Russia. The initiative of the head of state was picked up by other Estonian politicians: for example, according to Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the parliamentary commission on foreign affairs, "the question is not whether Finland will be in NATO, the question in principle is only about when it will take place."
However, in Finland itself this bravura optimism of its “Estonian brothers” about the country's accession to NATO, to put it mildly, was not understood.
During a joint press conference with Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö reacted very reservedly to the initiative of the Estonian colleague on integrating Suomi into the North Atlantic Alliance. “Non-NATO countries should not act as if NATO does not exist, but it is wrong to exclude Europe from the process of forming a new security system,” Niynistö said. - Finland and Sweden do not live in a vacuum. Sweden has increased defense spending, we started discussing it in Finland. ”
Earlier, members of the Finnish parliament criticized the government because of its decision to sign an agreement on military assistance in crisis situations with NATO. Government members even had to make excuses: Finnish Minister of Defense Karl Haglund said that an agreement with NATO on technical readiness to accept military aid is not a step towards membership in the Alliance. “In peacetime, we are talking only about training and exercises. In a crisis, we will be able to more effectively accept assistance from Europe, the European Union, Northern Europe and NATO, ”explained the head of the Finnish defense ministry. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, in turn, confirmed that the agreement with NATO does not imply the adoption of political commitments. Both ministers say the agreement has nothing to do with the Ukrainian crisis. It also does not imply the transit of military forces through the territory of Finland. These statements somewhat smoothed the scandal in Finnish society.
This scandal was caused not only by the fact that the public was not informed about the preparation of an agreement with NATO, but also by the fact that the current government’s program specifically states a clause according to which Finland will not join NATO and will not prepare to join the North Atlantic alliance. .
What caused such a critical attitude of the Finns towards the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? First, there is an understanding that NATO is not just a military organization, but a military-political organization, participation in which involves military-strategic opposition to Russia as the successor of the Soviet Union, against which this bloc was created. After 23, after the collapse of the USSR, NATO was never able to explain what the purpose of their organization is now if the strategic enemy ceased to exist and the new democratic Russia is recognized as an equal part of an open society. At the same time, all this time new bases of the Alliance appeared around the perimeter of the Russian border, Russia itself was denied membership in this bloc, and several NATO members, including the Baltic countries, openly said that NATO still exists to contain "Russian threat ". From the "red" became Russian. Therefore, joining NATO is an instant blow to interstate relations with Russia, and pragmatic Finland, which builds its material well-being at the expense of mutually beneficial business with its giant eastern neighbor, is clearly not interested in this.
Secondly, thanks to the same pragmatic approach, it becomes unclear what kind of benefits to expect Finland from NATO membership. For Finland, joining NATO means getting psychological peace from a guaranteed arrival of allies in the bloc in the event of a Russian attack, paying for this peace by deducting 2% of GDP. Also, the presence of the military bases of the Alliance, foreign guests from which will behave like NATO sailors in Ventspils, Latvia, who “got drunk, celebrated the need in public places and drank, publicly consumed alcohol, which was not allowed, but also disrupted flowers from flower beds to give them to prostitutes ”, according to the mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs.
By the way, in Latvia, the country's political elite unanimously stood up for NATO sailors who protect the country from the military threat. Therefore, you can and suffer that the allies vomit and urinate on the windows - it's all for the sake of the national security of the Republic of Latvia. However, Finland, as its history shows, does not need such angelic patience to ensure its national security: the experience of the 1939-1940 Soviet-Finnish war shows that it was even able to defend its independence from the Stalinist USSR. Probably thanks to the legendary sisu. Isn't this the reason for the polar differences between the Russian-Finnish relations and the relations of Russia with the Baltic countries that the last sysu never had, so they relaxed during those fatal years of World War II and enjoyed what they can’t forgive?