Military Review

Northern Union


The initiative of the ministers of defense of the Scandinavian countries and Finland to strengthen defense ties with the Baltic states and to develop measures to strengthen regional security requires serious consideration. It would be a big mistake to think that this is a new and original idea, and it is equally wrong to associate it with the situation in Ukraine. One more mistake would be a “captouching” attitude in relation to the military-political capabilities of a potential alliance. One should not be guided by the fact that, both in the northern countries and in the Baltic states, the role of defense ministers in matters of defense strategy and foreign policy is more technical and administrative.

Before us is another attempt to reconfigure the political space of Europe, this time on the northern flank. Just over a hundred years ago, the international legal order in the north of Europe and the Baltic region was based on the Declaration on the Baltic Question 1908. Signed by the four Baltic states - Russia, Germany, Sweden and Denmark, the declaration established a mutual commitment of the leading countries of the region to maintain their territorial and political status. and strengthen the “bonds of good neighborhood and friendship” [1]. Although four states put their signatures to the Baltic Declaration, contemporaries nevertheless perfectly understood that the solution of the main problems in the North of Europe was in the hands of two great powers - the Russian and German empires.

In the interwar period, with the emergence of new independent states in the Baltic region - Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the development of “defensive alliances” of various configurations immediately began. Estonia proposed a union of Finland, Finland - Sweden, later more complex proposals appeared, such as the union of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. At the beginning of the 1920's The main hopes of the Baltic political elite in the field of security were placed on the Baltic Union, which was supposed to ensure the economic, cultural, and military-political cooperation of the new independent states: Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Balts hoped that the Baltic Union, created on the eastern shore of the Baltic, would eventually include the Scandinavian countries. However, the Scandinavians took this idea very coolly and refused to participate in this project. The only result in the creation of the Baltic Union is the signing of a defense agreement between Estonia and Latvia at the end of 1923. But the defensive convention of two small countries absolutely did not ensure their security. After A. Hitler came to power in Germany, the Baltic countries in September 1934 created the Baltic Entente by signing a cooperation agreement between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Baltic Entente formally existed 10 years. It envisaged closer cooperation based on the principles of the League of Nations, coordination of key foreign policy issues through regular meetings of foreign ministers. However, the political elite of the Baltic countries could not agree among themselves on military cooperation.

Northern Union

Swedish geographer Sten de Geer in 1928
introduced the concept of Baltoscandia to designate
geographical region of the Scandinavian 3
and 4 Baltic States

On the whole, from the mid-1920s to 1939, at least eight projects of regional military alliances of various configurations were put forward. However, in practice, military cooperation was superficial (as between Latvia and Estonia, between which a military treaty existed), or secret, as was the case with Estonia and Finland, between which intensive military cooperation developed, but without signing a military treaty. So, the famous Finnish historian Jari Leskinen noted that in the early 1930s, the Finnish military command, together with the Estonian one, developed a plan for the complete mine-artillery blocking of the Finnish Strait along the Naysaar-Makiluoto line. “The joint plans of the Finnish and Estonian fleets have reached such a stage when the Estonian submarines joined the Finnish when a war arose the fleet under Finnish leadership ”[2].

In the interwar period, a special term also appeared - the Baltic region, as a concept for uniting the geopolitical space of the Scandinavian countries, Finland and the Baltic countries. For the first time, this concept was introduced into 1928 as a geographical term by the Swedish geographer Sten de Geer to refer to a geographical region consisting of three Scandinavian kingdoms and four Baltic states that were previously part of the Russian Empire. The Lithuanian geographer Kazis Paksas, in his book “The Confederation of Baltoscandia” in 1942, conducted a systematic analysis of the Baltoscandian region as a single cultural and geopolitical space. In his opinion, the main role in the formation of the community of Scandinavians and Balts should belong to Sweden [3].

One of the reasons for the failure of the Baltic-Scandinavian joint projects of the interwar period was that statehood on different shores of the Baltic developed in opposite directions: the Baltic States and Poland built tough authoritarian regimes that did not cause sympathy among the Scandinavians. Scandinavian countries followed the path of democratic reforms and parliamentarism and laid the foundations of a social state - “home for the people”.

After World War II, the Baltic States and the Scandinavian countries were on opposite sides of the Cold War barricades. Baltic states became part of the USSR. The countries of Northern Europe are faced with the need to search for new lines of foreign policy. The Second World War demonstrated to the small northern states their military vulnerability and the illusiveness of the idea that the North of Europe could remain in the foreseeable future without conflicts between the two superpowers. Under these conditions, Sweden tried to captivate its neighbors in the North of Europe with the idea of ​​creating the Scandinavian Defensive Union (COS), based on the principles of collective security and non-interference in superpower conflicts. Officially, this proposal was put forward by the Swedish government 1 in May 1948. The Swedish project responded to the neutralist sentiment of the majority of the population of Scandinavia. However, the governments of Denmark and Norway, bearing in mind the experience of trampled neutrality during World War II, chose a course towards joining NATO as a more militarily strong military-political bloc. At the same time, Norway and Denmark joined NATO with reservations, refusing to place on their territory foreign bases and troops in peacetime, and later - atomic weapon.

Military statistics: Finland and Sweden

As a result, a security configuration has emerged in the North of Europe, called the northern balance. The military cooperation between Denmark and Norway within the framework of NATO was compensated by strengthening the cooperation of the USSR with neutral Finland, while Sweden remained a neutral country. Thanks to this security architecture, North Europe remained the most placid Cold War theater.

Returning to current events, we note that today the “throwing in” of information about the trans-Baltic military cooperation benefits almost all regional players, regardless of whether it takes place or not. Consider this thesis in more detail.

Finland has a powerful defense industry, however, unlike the Swedish, without aviation component. In political terms, Finland follows an extremely cautious course in relations with Russia, this policy has a serious historical base. The Paasikivi-Kekkonen line has left a good memory of itself, and the scale of economic ties between Finland and Russia is greater than that of all other countries of Northern Europe and the Baltic countries combined. However, in the country for more than 20 years there has been a discussion about the pros and cons of full NATO membership.

Note also that in Finland 19 on April 2015 is a parliamentary election, so this initiative has an obvious electoral flavor. Secretary of Defense Carl Haglund, an ethnic Swede, leader of the Swedish People’s Party of Finland is gradually losing its electorate. At the same time, the Swedish minority and the Swedish People’s Party of Finland are very influential. This influence is significantly greater than the number of parliamentary seats. This party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament, of which Karl Haglund was a deputy. In essence, this is a conductor for Finnish integration into NATO. The entry into NATO of Finnish right-wing and centrists who are forced to take into account public sentiment is viewed not in a momentary, but in a historical perspective. It should be noted that “the article of the Nordic defense ministers about the Russian threat caused bewilderment of the office of the President of Finland”. Nevertheless, for the leadership of the country it is an opportunity to adjust the balance point in the Russian-Finnish dialogue.

Norway is a veteran of NATO. There are many veterans of anti-Soviet propaganda in the country who are able to pass on these qualities by inheritance. Former Norwegian Foreign Minister Torvald Stoltenberg is the father of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. On October 30, 2014, Thorwald Stoltenberg, at the 66 session of the Nordic Council, consisting of Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish parliamentarians, proposed the creation of a Nordic defense and security commission. In recent decades, Norwegian diplomacy has achieved major successes precisely in the eastern direction.

As for Sweden, it did not participate in the wars during the 200 years, its foreign policy was worn at least until the 2014 year, demonstratively peaceful in nature. However, it contains a very strong army, which in Northern Europe is inferior quantitatively, but not qualitatively, to Finnish. The Swedish military-industrial complex army, navy and even aircraft are almost completely provided with modern high-tech weapons. The military-industrial complex of Sweden has the potential comparable to the military-industrial complex of any of the largest European states.

Card Haglund, Minister of Defense of Finland

Some of the Swedish politicians, mainly of centrist and center-right orientation, are now considered by the military-industrial complex as the main engine of the economy, especially since sales in the 2014 year have grown steadily. The tradition of Swedish neutrality is also a tradition of the arms trade before, during, after all the wars of the 20th century. That is why the search for Russian submarines in the Stockholm metro is not a manifestation of historical complexes, but a quite competent economic calculation. In May, 2014, the Swedish and Finnish defense ministers announced the signing of a defense cooperation plan between the two countries, according to which joint military exercises of aviation, army and navy will be held. Finnish Minister of Defense K. Haglund, said that this plan is the road to creating a defensive alliance between Sweden and Finland. Such a union of two neutral countries is seen by some Finnish politicians and the military as an alternative to joining NATO.

As for the Baltic states, for them the northern vector of military cooperation is a kind of rehabilitation of their political course. The anti-Russian statements of the presidents of Estonia and Lithuania, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in recent months, have raised more and more questions not only among the residents of the Baltic States, but also among European politicians who do not want to deploy a large-scale conflict with Russia because of personal ambitions of former American political radio or graduates soviet party schools. Under these conditions, military-political integration with states of a different class of stability and efficiency, that is, northern countries, looks very tempting.

As for Russia, Moscow should carefully examine a new and potentially dangerous circle of threats, covering the area from the borders of Belarus to the island of Spitsbergen and from the Canadian Arctic archipelago to the River Narva. Our neighbors and partners should take into account that their plans and even more so the actions will not remain unanswered. Judging by the latest statement of the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces, this understanding exists. “Russia has not yet committed anything against Finland that would pose a threat in the near future,” said Jarmo Lindberg in his April 11 performance on 2015.

We fully agree with the position of Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb expressed by 12 on April 2015: Finland makes its own decisions in the field of security and foreign policy. However, Russia is not deprived of this right.

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  1. Enot-poloskun
    Enot-poloskun April 16 2015 18: 07
    Northern Union? But will the next Northern War turn out?

    By the way - Livonia and Estonia in Russia did not pay debts. We bought them from Sweden ...
    1. Vend
      Vend April 16 2015 18: 12
      Quote: Enot-poloskun
      Northern Union? But will the next Northern War turn out?

      By the way - Livonia and Estonia in Russia did not pay debts. We bought them from Sweden ...

      It will not work. Yes, let them have fun like children in a sandbox. laughing
      1. D_E_A_L_E_R
        D_E_A_L_E_R April 16 2015 18: 18
        Whatever the child amused, if only he would not cry smile
        1. The comment was deleted.
        2. Eugene-Eugene
          Eugene-Eugene April 16 2015 22: 16
          What child would not play

          ... just not hung.
      2. science fiction writer
        science fiction writer April 16 2015 18: 21
        Yes, let them play independent and adult uncles, do not mind.
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        3. The comment was deleted.
        4. gjv
          gjv April 16 2015 18: 58
          Quote: fiction
          Yes, let them play independent and adult uncles, do not mind.

          So if it were independent. And then Germany has already "turned on":
          German Defense Minister Ursula von der Layen told reporters in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on April 15, 2015 that Germany "may well" sell 12 self-propelled howitzers PzH 2000 caliber 155 mm to Lithuania.
          According to German media reports, a deal for the sale of self-propelled guns from the presence of the Bundeswehr can be concluded "next month" at a "friendly price" of about 15 million euros.

          Give me this "useful"? They will think and indulge! In general, indeed:
          Our neighbors and partners should take into account that their plans and, especially, their actions will not go unanswered.

          We do not consider any of those with whom we are conducting dialogue to be enemies. However, our allies are still - Army, aviation and navy! soldier I hope this tradition does not end!
          1. science fiction writer
            science fiction writer April 16 2015 19: 14
            Yes, you already 12. belay Well, everything is now our coffin, wassat we all hit crying Already 12 where to go. recourse
            1. ArchiAntiPendos
              ArchiAntiPendos April 16 2015 22: 33
              I think the Balts will sweat when determining the parking spaces for these coffins!
              While they have one tank for three from the Union’s legacy, they didn’t take a steam bath with the parking lot, they even borrowed it from each other to intimidate the RF Armed Forces, and here, if not an armada, then a corps, this is at least fellow
              really annoying, the Americans, they distribute themselves or indicate to whom what to merge a bunch of that which can blow, and in the conditions of escalating psychosis, here they say Putin will come and ban the homosexual, it can accidentally and intentionally shoot ...
              Although, again, they will shoot, everything is a cross on "true gay-European values!" good here is the alignment, the flour! what
              As the GDP, it has not yet broken, it too, as a peasant does not need these "values", and he can and wants to shoot! angry
              smile Flour, with this inner struggle!
          2. lunoxod
            lunoxod April 16 2015 19: 44
            We do not consider any of those with whom we are conducting dialogue to be enemies.

            Etozh sedina Putin said.
            1. Talgat
              Talgat April 16 2015 22: 31
              Glad to the optimism of the commentators, so don't just give up to the "Swede" good

              But in fact, a very alarming factor - indicating a growing threat from Europe

              As if historically, Europe has constantly carried out aggression in recent centuries, especially often 1612 - then 1812 - then harnessed to Turkey - then 1914 - 1941 - then the Cold War - then the expansion of NATO - then the ABM - now Ukraine -

              It would be naive to assume (as Russian liberals and Westernizers are doing) that the list will suddenly pick up and stop - and Europe and Russia "will start to dance in round dances, joining hands together."

              Not. comrades, this is an endless list - strain and focus
      3. BMP-2
        BMP-2 April 16 2015 19: 17
        Yes, let them have fun like children in a sandbox.

        They used to have an older brother, but now they have a bunch of nannies. And as you know, seven nannies have a child without an eye, fourteen have no both. As you can see, these children, even with the only remaining resource - sand, manage to do self-mutilation ...
    2. sent-onere
      sent-onere April 16 2015 19: 24
      In general, thanks for the excursion into history. I think it is worth noting the events of 2011, when the Swedish fighter aircraft made combat sorties for the first time in decades - this happened in Libya. The Swedish army, as the October events showed, has flaws caused by the demilitarization of the early 2000s and 2009 (reforms). So, anti-submarine helicopter units were eliminated
  2. Reserve officer
    Reserve officer April 16 2015 18: 17
    A very dubious alliance will succeed. I have many friends who have dual citizenship - Russian and Finnish. We left in 90's, but then returned. And live in almost two countries.
    So, according to their testimonies, Russians in Finland are not much loved, but even more dislike Sweden. And given that the Finnish economy is seriously connected with Russia, it is unlikely that they will so brazenly go to aggravate relations.
  3. gjv
    gjv April 16 2015 18: 20
    NATO is not enough for them. Eperny theater! And they look like "singers" and create another "opera house" for the State Department scores. Only General Sten de Geer - "good" - looks like a young Schicklgruber! And he thinks like a "true large-scale".
  4. Vityok
    Vityok April 16 2015 18: 21
    Finns and Swedes see tired of living quietly, that's fun fool
  5. Yaropolk
    Yaropolk April 16 2015 18: 24
    Finland independently makes decisions in the field of security and foreign policy. However, Russia is not without this right.

    Thanks to the authors. Reassured.
    But seriously, wherever you stick some "friends", and time is running out.
  6. sherman1506
    sherman1506 April 16 2015 18: 24
    I look at Europe, it feels like they have an inferiority complex. But we deeply spit on your complex, get it, grab it again.
  7. ia-ai00
    ia-ai00 April 16 2015 18: 26
    These countries should not forget that the stick is always about TWO ends, and Russia can take retaliatory steps.
    I just want to say: - "... guys, let's live FRIENDLY!"
    1. The comment was deleted.
  8. atamankko
    atamankko April 16 2015 18: 29
    What has become boring to live?
  9. Mindaugas
    Mindaugas April 16 2015 19: 02
    On March 19, 2015, the Lithuanian special services carried out an act of intimidation against people whose point of view does not coincide with the official position of the Lithuanian authorities. In relation to a group of people, the Klaipeda prosecutor initiated a criminal case in which suspicions of anti-state activities were raised. During the search without charge, personal belongings were seized in people's apartments. First, in Lithuania there was a situation in which only one who is completely loyal to the new government in Kiev and Washington can be considered a state patriot, all the rest are only “Kremlin agents”. The authorities are panicky afraid of their own people and use the most dirty methods in relation to any dissent, one of these methods is the Russian threat. I will say bluntly that I have never in my life seen such a total fear in society
  10. nord62
    nord62 April 16 2015 19: 02
    These are the Scandinavian Gays organizing their new union! Parties under the guise of exercises will be cool ..... I even know the name: "Northern Geological Union"! laughing
    Lord! Give these pseudo-states even a drop of wits, otherwise they become completely flawed. And the poor in Russia have been sorry for the saint from time immemorial! It is necessary for Putin to make an official statement: "Guys! Don't worry! You are awesome cool, but we are afraid of you!" belay Maybe then the holy fools will calm down! bully
  11. taram taramych
    taram taramych April 16 2015 19: 08
    200 years without a war, this has already become a habit, but what they are looking for "Russian submarines" under their bed is a simple test of sanity. After all, if they found her there, a collective, cognitive apocalypse, smile in a separate Scandinavian region, would be provided. Lack of sunlight, again, is depressing.
  12. 27 VALENTINE
    27 VALENTINE April 16 2015 19: 18
    Do you think they accidentally have alcohol under such strict control?
  13. TOR2
    TOR2 April 16 2015 19: 55
    A similar topic was discussed quite recently. What lessons do we need to draw from these alliances? First of all, in the northwest, there must be sufficient means to destroy targets in Norway. It is their oil platforms that are the weak link in this alliance. Imagine what Geylanidia will be after the destruction of these objects. And they need to tell them about it directly, otherwise there are too many fans of the expression "Russia will pay a big price". I think we can also roll out the counter price tag.
    1. SlavaP
      SlavaP April 16 2015 21: 21
      Not only oil wells, but also hydroelectric power plants, which produce most of the electricity in Norway and allow to feed other EU countries. In general, unfortunately, it would be possible to work more actively in Russian diplomacy in the Scandinavian direction. And so it seems that Finland was given NATO on a silver platter ..
  14. voliador
    voliador April 16 2015 22: 00
    It would be a big mistake to think that this is a new and original idea, and it would be equally wrong to connect it with the situation in Ukraine.

    Yes, it’s not a mistake, but the most fact. The hysteria of the Chukhna has increased many times over the past year. The truth of what the Finns voted is not very clear.
  15. ArchiAntiPendos
    ArchiAntiPendos April 16 2015 22: 47
    the point is not in the security of the Northern Union countries, but in the ability to stake out a piece of the Russian Arctic, when the injected American money will begin to work out "our Makars and gays with him"! And Scandinavians can afford this performance without fear of the black-faced paw, because its true meaning is clear.
    This is a pack of hyenas, another confirmation of the correctness of the following expressions:
    "Russia has two allies - its army and navy!"
    "If you want peace, get ready for war!"
    "If we want to be reckoned with, we must be strong!"
    the authors of these postulates are known to you.
  16. Tribuns
    Tribuns April 16 2015 23: 19
    It would seem that the small peoples of the Baltic states: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia "God himself commanded" to live in friendship with the great Russian people, which at the present time does not have the slightest desire to "join unfriendly" ...
    And if the Russia has questions for the Balts, it’s only because they entered the aggressive NATO bloc, aiming its bases, including with elements of Euro-missile defense, against the Russian state ...
  17. Scraptor
    Scraptor April 17 2015 08: 02
    The main thing is that Finland does not forget about the terms of the 1944 peace treaty.