By Erielle Delzer, 01 May 2015
In 2012, Finland held elections for their next head of state as the second six-year term for President Tarjo Halonen came to an end. Sauli Niinistö of the National Coalition Party (NCP) of Finland won the overwhelming majority of votes in the 2012 elections for his foreign policy views on the Finnish position regarding increasing Russian aggression with the West, as well as on internal Finnish sentiment towards the future potentially unstable climate of Russo-Finnish relations (Kuisma, Magnus). President Niinistö, along with 2014 Prime Minister-elect Alexander Stubb (NCP), have publicly condemned the Russian Federation’s actions in the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine. Though the current governing party itself has not stated support for Finnish membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) -- which aids in peacekeeping and provides the basis for military alliances – Prime Minister Stubb has been vocal about the potential idea of such a membership, citing the fact that Finland is already well-aligned with NATO policies. President Niinistö is taking a more cautious approach but is not ruling out the idea as it was done so quickly in the past (Kuisma, Magnus). In comparison to the 2006 Finnish government that was extremely anti-NATO membership, this formal vocalization is paving the way for a possible 2015 referendum that could result in further NATO enlargement to the two remaining Scandinavian countries of Finland and Sweden.
However, the Russian Federation and Finland have a rich history of relations, saturated with a blended identity due to the close proximity of borders and a few skirmishes, battles, and wars. After all, it was due to the Russian Empire that Finland began to first get its independence from the Swedish Empire. Presently, Finland is in a precarious situation; the Finns are treading lightly and carefully onwards towards NATO membership despite strong ties and trade with Russia, their larger and more explosive neighbor. What will result from Finnish membership to NATO could be a potential third world war, especially as Finland could use the newfound militaristic alliances of NATO to reclaim land along the Russo-Finnish border that is currently Russian territory, which will be discussed later in this paper. Russia’s increasing distrust of and insecurity from Western organisations, especially of NATO enlargement, is enough to provoke the country to act rationally in a violent way, as already seen in Crimea and Ukraine over the past two years.
For Finland -- Russia’s longtime trade partner and former autonomous territory that Russia has been proud of for not succumbing completely to Western demands -- acquiring NATO membership may just be the light that sets off the fuse. But will Finnish and even Swedish NATO membership push the Russian Federation even more into a “corner” as previous NATO enlargement has already done? What will be the global consequences if Russia forms an even stronger alliance with an equally turbulent superpower such as China? To analyze the extent of the gravity of this situation, this paper will examine in detail Russo-Finnish history, Finnish politics of the 20th and 21st centuries, and the potential Russian response to Finnish membership in NATO, as best predicted by the Russian response to NATO and European Union (EU) enlargement in Central and Eastern Europe over the past thirty years.
A Brief History of Finland and Finno-Russian Relations
Finland was not its own independent country until 1918. From a 700-year reign spanning from the 1180s to 1809, Finland was a member of the Swedish Empire. Swedes dominated the land, putting a strong Swedish influence on the language and thereby the politics and courts, as well as the elite and the intellectuals; Finnish, however, was only used by the peasants. Finland began to become its own entity with the establishment of its first university, the Royal Academy of Turku, in 1640 on Finnish lands, as well as its first printing press, which used the Finnish language; thus Finnish writers, poets, and intellectuals began circulating Finnish-language literature (Laine). All, of which, promoted support for the Finns to separate themselves from the Swedes to strengthen their own identity.
Around this time, more specifically during a period of Swedish expansion in Northern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Swedish Empire was often engaged in battles and wars with the Russian Empire. Finland was occupied twice throughout the 1700s and by the end of the Gustav III War from 1788 to 1790, the majority of Finns wanted to cut ties with Sweden and remain neutral with both the Swedish and Russian Empires so that their land was no longer the main battlefield between the two imperial powers. The notion of independence continued to spread and grow in power. Then, the Finnish War from 1808 to 1809 became the tipping point for Finland (Laine). With Sweden and Russia now fighting over Finnish territory as opposed to just on Finnish territory, the Finns began to demand independence from and neutrality with the two great militaristic powers.
By 1809, the Swedish Empire lost its Eastern twin to the Russian Empire when it was ceded to Russia, of which it then became known as the autonomous “Grand Duchy of Finland.” Thus began the beginning of Finnish “independence” after centuries under Swedish rule. In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution in the Russian Empire began, and Finland used the opportunity to declare itself formally, politically, and legally independent from the Russians as the Finns had long-since been ready for their own government. Two years later, Finland declared itself as a presidential republic, swiftly electing its first president. Finally, in 1920 the Russo-Finnish border was formed with the Treaty of Tartu, but was not what it is present day until the aftermath of World War II. 
However, this was not the last of the violence and conflict for the newfound Republic of Finland. Three more wars occurred with the Soviet Union, starting with the USSR invading Finland in 1939, which led to Finland cooperating with the Germans in an attempt to stave off the Soviets. It became known as the Winter War as it was fought between November 1939 and March 1940, ending with the Moscow Peace Treaty, which ceded parts of Finland bordering Russia to the Soviet Russians. An area of land known as “Karelia” as well as an area called “Salla” were handed over, in addition to a small section of a peninsula to the North, called “Rybachy.” A second war against the Soviet Union broke out in June 1941. Known as the Continuation War (as it was seen as a continuation of the Winter War), it ended in September 1944 with the Moscow Armistice, which again changed borders as the land area surrounding the peninsula the Russians acquired grew, as the Finns were forced to cede all the land of what is known as “Petsamo” – including Rybachy – to the Soviet Russians. Some of the islands from the Gulf of Finland were also ceded to Soviet Union. It was because of this Armistice that a third war erupted for Finland; from September 1944 to April 1955, the Finns fought the Germans away from the Petsamo territory in the Lapland Province (Laine). Petsamo provides a direct passage way to the Arctic Ocean via the Barents Sea, making it prize territory for the Russians and the Europeans. Today, Petsamo is known as “Petchenga” in Russian and is a source of conflict between the Russians and Finns, which will be analyzed later in this paper.
Following World War II, there was a brief period of stable relations between Finland and the Soviet Union until the Cold War. But, as the onset of the Cold War began, Finland adopted an approach of “containment” – different from what the Western idea of containment was due to their peculiar predicament. The border between the USSR and Finland soon became hostile. « During the Cold War years, the Finnish-Russian border marked a dividing line between two rivaling political and economic systems; the border was thoroughly militarized and heavily guarded on both sides » (Scott). Not everyone was convinced Finland was effectively containing Communism, however. George Kennan believed the Soviets were internally – not externally and especially not militaristically – attempting to find a way to gain control of Finland, and that Finland’s own Communist Party (Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue) would not follow the path of the Czech Republic’s Communist Party, which had found a balance between maintaining the party without the country falling to Soviet persuasion in the Cold War.
As it can be seen, Finland has its own issues in terms of its borders and whether or not it is being too pro-Russian or too pro-Western. This has given Finland an insecurity complex that caused it to adapt a policy of neutrality. But joining international organisations -- and especially Western organisations -- in order to advance Finland as a whole has led to deeper Russian mistrust and strengthened borders, so why would Finland join NATO when the Finnish government is more than well aware of the threat Russia poses to their security?
Finnish Membership to NATO: If and When
By 1955, Finland joined the United Nations (UN), deeming it important to “support an international system based on multilateralism” due to Finnish history and the need to strengthen Finnish foreign policy.  Almost immediately after, Finland established a policy of neutrality to recover from all of the wars throughout the first half of the 20th century. Finland joined the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1969, ensuring democracy and a market economy for the country – necessary for the Democratic Peace Theory, where it is believed the democratic nations do not go to war with one another as democracy brings peace, not violence (Kuima, Magnus) -- and then later joined the EU with almost unanimous support in 1995, which brought Finland closer to its European counterparts by expanding trade opportunities throughout the whole of the Union and letting its citizens freely live and work in other EU countries.
But Finland’s relations with Russia are just as vital for the political, economic, and social success of the country. Finland’s neutrality policy has allowed it to remain on good terms with the Russian Federation for most of the Cold War and after up until present day while strengthening bonds with the West, a key factor in Finland’s growth and prosperity due to their precarious geographical position. Despite this neutrality, however, continual NATO and EU expansion into former Soviet satellite space in addition to Finland joining the EU in 1995 has cast doubts in Russian political minds as to whether Finland is too Western now. “ Thus, since the early 2000s the Russo-Finnish border security has tightened as relations have tensed over political affiliations and land ownership due to the three wars fought during the Second World War.
“The return of territories taken by Moscow from Finland had been proposed for discussion in the aftermath of Soviet collapse and German unification; yet the issue once again became current as Finland debated the possibility of entering NATO in the 2012 [presidential] elections” (Gardner 87). But even if Russia were to be willing to discuss ceding Finland back the land of Karelia or Petchenga, it would result in it costing Finland a great amount of money that may reverse the point of re-acquiring the land in the first place. “Moreover, it was feared that the costs of reintegrating the region into Finland would prove prohibitive, and that it would be very difficult to accommodate a Russian-speaking minority of some 300 thousand people” (Gardner). If Finland were to use NATO as a militaristic support to acquire this land, Russia would be ready to respond militaristically as well – hence the onset of a potential Third World War.
Is Finland bringing this upon itself? “Despite its strict non-aligned policy, however, Finland has begun of late to strengthen its security partnerships with Nordic neighbors and with international organizations, in part by actively participating in multilateral forums, such as the EU and NATO’s Partnership for Peace, as a way to enhance and ensure the country’s security. Finland’s forces, moreover, much like Sweden’s, also take part in a NATO strategic airlift program, which provides Helsinki with a capability that some observers argue ‘could very well be called upon’ and deployed in the nation’s North at some point in the future” (Perry). It is without a doubt that Finland has been gearing up, per se, for any potential violence and conflict that Russia may induce – but what if that violence stems from Finnish actions regarding membership in NATO?
While there is no “checklist” for NATO membership, there are “minimum” requirements in place to ensure not just any country can join.
I. New members must uphold democracy, including tolerating diversity.
II. New members must be making progress toward a market economy.
III. Their military forces must be under firm civilian control.
IV. They must be good neighbors and respect sovereignty outside their borders.
V. They must be working toward compatibility with NATO forces.
Finland checks basically every box, but if Finland were to be serious about acquiring the land in Petchenga, then Article IV of membership requirement would be violated – and if Finland does violate it but is still allowed to join NATO, Russia will believe to have further reason to discredit the organisation as a “Western tool against Russia” and continue putting out propaganda against the organization and the member states within it, especially Finland. In addition, Finland signed the founding document of the OCSE in 1975 to confirm “the integrity of post-war boundaries in Europe” (Scott). Doesn’t this mean Finland has to respect the integrity of the Russian population in Petchenga as well, or is NATO membership the key to righting the wrongs (i.e. the land given to the USSR who invaded Finland first) caused long ago by the “big Soviet bully” in the mid-1940s?
As stated in the introduction of this paper, past Finnish governments have deliberately ruled out NATO membership from ever gaining traction, despite an increasing percent of the Finnish population requesting politicians to allow Finland to join as Russian aggression has risen. Finnish public support for NATO is still relatively low, hovering around 26% according to a recent EVA poll (Rahkonen 90). This is due to the gap in Finnish media between international angles and local angles, which affects the readers and viewers opinions on NATO itself (Rahkonen). In fact, it’s engrained in Finnish politics to not necessarily worry about public opinion and carry on with foreign policy plans. The former Conservative chair of the Finnish Foreign Relations Committee believes joining NATO would have been “a simple matter” in Russian President Yeltsin’s era during the ‘90s. “Russia was economically weak and in political turmoil, but neither Sweden nor Finland took advantage of the opportunity” (Steinbock).
Finnish media is to blame for this. As a result of Juho Rahkonen’s thesis study, it was found that the more internationally angled news media in Finland tended to be more pro-NATO, which makes sense. Their viewers and readers supported Finland joining NATO at a higher percentage than the general population. The smaller and more local papers, radio stations, and TV channels tended to be focused only on national interests, and thus were anti-NATO, also swaying their readers, listeners, and viewers from supporting the bid to join. « The overall message of the Helsingin Sanomat NATO articles has long been that Finland should join the alliance. The fundamental argument of HS is ideological: Finland is a western, liberal democracy, and part of the European tradition, which according to HS is based on the Enlightenment. Therefore Finland should belong to every organization that represents those values » (Rahkonen).
But the blame for Finland hesitating on joining NATO also stems from their history of being used as a battlefield and perpetually being stuck next to two large and dominant militaristic powers. In times of violence and war globally, the public support percentage of those supporting NATO membership dwindled as the violence increased. « According to an opinion survey commissioned by HS in early 2004, the main reason for Finns to remain militarily non-aligned is that they do not want Finland to be involved in remote crises. Earlier surveys also indicate that Finns - like many other European nations - consider NATO as a U.S.-dominated alliance. Since the invasion of Iraq, Finns have become more critical of the United States' role in world politics » (Rahkonen). This is evident of Finland trying to hold true to their policy of neutrality, even despite being Westernized and aligning with NATO policies. « from 1948 to 1991 Finland and the Soviet Union had the YYA treaty (Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance). The YYA treaty recognized Finland's desire to remain outside great-power conflicts. This desire persists in the Finnish cultural memory, and therefore NATO does not look like a good thing in Finns' eyes » (Rahkonen).
As it is seen, it is an extremely complicated matter on whether or not Finland should or even can join NATO. To make matters worse, recent events in geopolitical history are causing Finland to shift even further from neutrality to pro-Western alignment with the EU and potentially NATO. A main example of this stems from the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, which was a breaking point for the Baltic States. The present war in Eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and pro-Western Ukrainians has caused further divide amongst the NATO membership world, proving to Finland the need to join a military alliance should Russian expand further into its former territories. Because of President Putin’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, borders are shaky, and Finland needs the extra security.
The Russian Response
Moscow is apprehensive about Finland joining NATO. Sergei Lavrov recently stated that the matter is “of special concern” to the Russian government. Russian media has been blasting the Baltic States, especially Finland, for entertaining the idea of joining the organisation, while equally blasting NATO itself for its “hypocrisies.” President Putin has slammed Finland for its increasing “Russophobia”– of which Finland denies, as it never joined NATO in the 1990s when Russia was weak after the fall of the USSR in 1991.
Leading Russian officials have been criticizing NATO for years, but with more serious talks of NATO expansion into the remaining two Baltic States, Russian officials are becoming more persistent in a legal manner. They’re taking the “flaws” in the articles of the NATO Charter, especially the most famous one – Article V, and twisting them to their advantage. « NATO’s famous Article 5, of course, guarantees that all member states will come to the rescue if one of them is attacked. But what if the aggression is not clearly a military attack? What if it is like events in Eastern Ukraine, where separatists are suspected of operating in conjunction with Russia, an allegation denied by Moscow? Such events are changing the military game… How do you prove that they are connected to Russia? That is the weakness of the NATO treaty » (Braw). This method of demonizing NATO, who the Russians believe to be controlled by the United States, is apparently effective for Russia; the percentage of Russians vehemently against the United States is extremely high, at 74% in 2014.
Russia has been turning to its Eastern partners to seek an alliance. China has always been Russia’s Communist “little brother” and now, more than ever, does Russia need familial support. Despite Russia’s own border security, trade, and militaristic problems with the Chinese throughout history, the two great powers have been able to rely on each other over the decades. As Russia is once again in an economically weak situation due to the sanctions placed after Crimea and Ukraine of the past two years, and equally on the same note as China has rapidly grown to become the world’s number one economy, the tables have turned and now Russia seeks the support of the Chinese government. Major Western powers like the United States know that the key to limiting such an alliance is to not expand NATO any further into former Soviet space (i.e. Ukraine, Georgia) or into nations that have a history with Russia (Finland, Sweden). Thus, Finland’s role on the world stage is still decently crucial in order to prevent, or provoke, a West vs. East military engagement, which is, in effect, a Third World War.
What Will Result?
Even if Finland joins NATO in the future, it won’t be the main reason for a third world war. One could consider it to be the second domino in a series of dominoes (the first being sanctions against Russia for Crimea and Ukraine) that will trigger the start of such violence, but Finland was never under Soviet rule, meaning that despite the close proximity of borders and past history with Russia, it’s not as “important” as other former Soviet satellite states in the Russian geopolitical sphere. If Georgia or Ukraine were to join NATO, that would bear more weight on the Russian conscience than that of already pro-Western Finland.
As it has already been demonstrated, Finland breached their protocol of neutrality in 1995 when the country joined the European Union. Prior to that, Finland had the true advantage of being friends equally with the West and with the Russians without being too much on either side. If Finland had joined the Soviet bloc back during the Cold War, the West would have been equally apprehensive about Finland’s actions as Russia is today after it joined the EU and the OECD. Joining NATO, therefore, would be the tipping point to prove to the Russians that the Finns are giving preference to the West, despite their close borders and trade routes with their Eastern neighbor. It’s just not the tipping point to start a Third World War.
 « In the question of Finland's NATO membership, the elite have not been as unanimous as in the EU issue. Quite the contrary: many of the leading politicians, such as the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, take a skeptical view of NATO and do not support Finland's membership » (Rahkonen 2006, 83-85).  « While Finland then became an autonomous grand duchy within the autocratic Russian Empire in 1809, it nevertheless maintained a national economy and a customs border with Russia. Even then, in other respects the border was an open one and very much a formality » (Laine 68).  « Finland’s status within the Russian empire was exceptional in that it allowed for a considerable amount of political autonomy, in comparison to many other constituents of the Romanov Empire. This, together with the Swedish constitutional tradition, led to a growing perception of Finland as an autonomous polity. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century the elite envisioned Finland as separate from the tsarist rule and argued for a common national ideology to draw a clear line between Finland and Russia » (Voronov 37).  « The Finnish-Russian border acquired its present form in the aftermath of the Second World War. In geographical terms, this 1340-kilometre border does not follow any clear-cut natural barriers to human interaction. For the most part it runs through forests and sparsely populated rural areas. In a cultural and political sense, this region has formed a historical demarcation zone shaped by ‘East-West’ rivalries » (Scott 127).  “In the late 1930s, some cooperation with the Germans on intelligence matters began. After the Soviet invasion of Finland in x939, there was considerable cooperation between the Finns and the Germans, i.e. between Finnish and German military intelligence and between the Valpo and the Gestapo” (Weller www).  « In the aftermath of World War II, Finland and Russia were considered to enjoy a special relationship nurtured by the Soviet leadership and by Finnish presidents such as Paasikivi and Kekkonen who religiously maintained Finland’s status as a non- aligned country. The Finnish political elite believed that political neutrality and good personal contacts with the Soviet leadership were a necessary condition for maintaining state sovereignty, a market economy and democracy. In return, Finland enjoyed access to almost unlimited purchases of fuel and raw materials and to an enormous Soviet market ready to absorb any Finnish goods » (Scott 127).  “The Americans believed that if they became too aggressive in Finland they would only be inviting Finland’s inclusion in the ranks of the people’s democracies. Thus, in Finland “containment” came to mean protecting the status quo of amicable Finno-Soviet relations and avoiding a worse alternative – the complete Soviet domination of Finland and the extension of the Iron Curtain north of the Baltic Sea” (Hanhimäki 355).  “Kennan was by no means alone in his pessimism. The French, for example, were ready to declare Finland the latest addition to the Soviet Union’s East European ‘empire.’ …The British agreed that Finland was a test of Western resolve… Given such pessimism among their most important Western allies, it is no wonder that many American observers thought that Finland would be rapidly absorbed into the Soviet bloc” (Hanhimäki 357).  « Finland became a member of the United Nations in 1955. During this Cold War era, acceptance as a member strengthened the international position of a small country. From the very beginning, the United Nations became an important part of Finland’s foreign policy. In light of her historical experience, Finland felt it important to support an international system based on multilateralism and the Charter of the United Nations » (“Finland in the UN” www).  « The consensus-seeking nature of Finnish society has its historical roots in the aftermath of World War II: having barely maintained her independence, Finland could not afford any internal conflicts, which would have weakened the country's position. In order to ensure peace within society, political forces from both left and right were integrated into one and the same mission - reconstruction of the country after war» (Rahkonen 83).  « In international comparison, Finland is still a relatively state-central and corporatist society. In many big issues the Finnish elite is consensus seeking, and the acceptance of basic political choices is widely shared. This could be seen clearly in 1994, when there was a public debate about whether Finland should join the European Union. The elite were nearly unanimous in supporting membership, and only a few organizations, such as the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, resisted » (Rahkonen 88).  « Finland has been deeply involved in the process of European integration since the beginning of the 1990s. Russia, a successor state of the former Soviet empire, has been fundamentally reconfigured as a result of the USSR’s demise » (Piattoeva 724).  « ‘We can do nothing about geography,’ said President Juho Kusti Paasikivi, in office 1946-1956. By this he meant Finland's position between East and West and the delicate balance with the neighbouring Soviet Union. Finland remained outside the Cold War blocks, but in foreign policy the Soviet Union had a considerable effect. Despite this, Finland had an opportunity to develop into a Western market economy. Thus, it can be said that Finland was a winner in the Cold War » (Rahkonen 86).  « Relations between Finland and Russia have been reconstituted as part of the wider geopolitical shifts in Europe. Concrete indications of the new situation include, for instance, new border crossing points and logistical infrastructure, the abolition of travel restrictions on the Russian side and co-operation programs aiming at strengthening cross-border links. Finnish membership in the European Union in 1995 increased these border-spanning activities in various forms and at various spatial levels » (Scott 128).  Also: “New members must be invited by a consensus of current members. Decisions to invite new members must take into account the required ratification process in the member states. In the case of the United States, decisions are made in consultation with Congress. The key determinant for any invitation to new members is whether their admission to NATO will strengthen the alliance and further the basic objective of NATO enlargement, which is to increase security and stability across Europe” (“Finland in the UN” www).  « In a spectacular development, last year Russian-affiliated news media such as RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik expanded to the point that European audiences can now watch top-quality pro-Kremlin news around the clock. That coverage gives ample attention to Russia’s nuclear weapons, which Putin makes a point of frequently mentioning while tut-tutting that they serve an entirely defensive function. It also features a barrage of negative news about Europe, especially the Baltic States » (Braw 38).  « The strong tradition of political realism leads many Finnish elite members to exclude public opinion from foreign policy issues. Although internal issues should be decided in accordance with the will of the majority, this is not the case in foreign policy issues, which are too remote and complex for ordinary citizens » (Rahkonen 88).  “No wonder the Finns, brave though they are—the Winter War, when Finland’s heroic soldiers held off the vastly superior Red Army for four months during World War II, remains a source of pride—find themselves on the fence over NATO membership. Joining NATO, to be sure, brings great benefits: security guarantees, access to plenty of state-of-the-art equipment, money savings as allies pool resources. But Finland, and to a lesser extent Sweden, are also exposed to their large neighbor’s inevitable wrath” (Braw www).  « During major world crises, such as the war in Kosovo in 1999, in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Iraq in 2003, the support for NATO membership among Finns has been lower than in more peaceful times » (Rahkonen 83).  “As far as the Baltic States were concerned, the Georgian war was a historical turning point that proved them right in their suspicion that the Russian bear would sooner or later begin to prowl. But to their despair, nobody listened when they talked about their fears” (Braw 34).  “The crisis in Ukraine however, has changed fundamentally the dynamics of the Finnish NATO debate. For many, it has been a wakeup call as much for Finland as for the whole of Europe. European borders are not, it now seems, sacred, not even the Ukrainian borders which were guaranteed by Russia and the US in 1994 when Ukraine abolished its nuclear weapons. The seizure of Crimea and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine have proved to many that Russia is a military threat to its neighbours. The rhetorical mantra in Finnish security policy, that Russia is not a military threat but only an unpredictable superpower, seems to have been proved wrong. This has created serious concerns about Russian- Finnish relations. A core question for Finland now is how to navigate between maintaining friendly relations with Russia on the one hand and supporting the EU (of which Finland is a member) in its policy of isolating Russia economically on the other” (Cronberg www).  “The 2010 Levada survey could be analysed together with another 2010 Levada poll that confirmed the deeply engrained perception of America’s hostile intentions among Russians. Some 73 per cent of the polled Russians indicated that the United States was an aggressor that sought to establish control over all states. In November 2014, another survey showed that 74 per cent of Russians had a negative opinion of the United States – an unprecedented peak in the post-Cold War period” (Lilly www).  “The key to ending the conflict is to permanently exclude the possibility of Ukraine’s membership of NATO. It was the Alliance’s reckless decision in April 2008 to declare that both Ukraine and Georgia “will become members” that intensified Russian insecurity, provoking its aggressive response to defend the status quo. It might be a different matter if Ukraine could be successfully integrated into the Western bloc, but this is unrealistic. While Western governments are half-hearted about this possibility, Russia is absolutely determined in its opposition. Since the reorientation of Ukraine towards the West is seen as a fundamental security threat, Moscow will be willing to bear considerable costs to prevent this from happening. Sanctions will therefore have no effect. Arms supplies to the Ukrainian government, meanwhile, will only make things worse by aggravating Russian insecurity and forcing Moscow into further escalation that the West would be reluctant to match” (Brown www).
I. Journals a. Braw, Elizabeth. "Bully in the Baltics: The Kremlin's Provocations." Bully in the Baltics | World Affairs Journal. World Affairs Journal, 01 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. b. Braw, Elizabeth. "Sweden, Finland, and NATO." World Affairs Journal. World Affairs Journal, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/elisabeth-braw/sweden-finland-and-nato>. c. Hanhimäki, Jussi. ""Containment" in a Borderland: The United States and Finland, 1948-49." Diplomatic History 18.3 (1994): 353-74. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 01 May 2015. d. Kuisma, Mikko, and Magnus Ryner. "Third Way Decomposition and the Rightward Shift in Finnish and Swedish Politics." Contemporary Politics 18.3 (2012): 325-42. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 01 May 2015. e. Laine, Jussi. "Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue: Towards a Bottom-up Agenda of the Finnish-Russian Relations." Fennia 192.1 (2014): 65-78. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 01 May 2015. f.Perry, Charles M., and Bobby Andersen. "New Strategic Dynamics in the Arctic Region." The Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (2012): n. pag. IFPA. IFPA, Feb. 2012. Web. 01 May 2015. g. Piattoeva, Nelli. "Citizenship and Nationality in Changing Europe: A Comparative Study of the Aims of Citizenship Education in Russian and Finnish National Education Policy Texts." Journal of Curriculum Studies 41.6 (2009): 723-44. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 01 May 2015. h. Rahkonen, Juho. "Public Opinion, Journalism and the Question of Finland's Membership of NATO." Nordicom Review 28.2 (2007): 81-92. JSTOR [JSTOR]. Web. 01 May 2015. i. Scott, James Wesley. "Cross-Border Cooperation in the Periphery of the European Union: Reinterpreting the Finnish-Russian Borderland." Eurolimes - Institute for Euroregional Studies (2010): 123-36. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 01 May 2015. j. Steinbock, Dan. "NATO and Northern Europe: From Nordic Balance to Northern Balance." American Foreign Policy Interests 30.4 (2008): 196-210. JSTOR [JSTOR]. Web. 01 May 2015. k. Voronov, Konstantin. "Perceptions of Russia in the European North." Russian Politics and Law 48.6 (2010): 35-50. Web. 01 May 2015. l. Weller, Geoffrey R. "Scandinavian Security and Intelligence: The European Union, the WEU, and NATO." JSTOR. Scandinavian Studies, Spring 1998. Web. 01 May 2015. II.Books a. Gardner, Hall. NATO Expansion and US Strategy in Asia: Surmounting the Global Crisis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print. III.Legislation a. United States. U.S. Department of State Archive. Minimum Requirements for NATO Membership. Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, 30 June 1997. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.state.gov/1997-2001-NOPDFS/regions/eur/fs_members.html>. IV. News, Articles, Reports a. Cronberg, Tarja. "European Leadership Network." The NATO Divide in Finnish Politics. European Leadership Network, 2 Sept. 2014. Web. 01 May 2015. b. Lilly, Bilyana. "How Putin Uses Missile Defence in Europe to Distract Russian Voters." NATO Review. NATO Review Magazine, 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. c. "Finland in the UN” Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN. Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 03 Aug. 2010. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.finlandun.org/public/default.aspx?nodeid=35893&contentlan=2&culture=en-US>.