Finland- EU- Russia security — страница 5

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Taina).   IV.  Finnish and Swedish Security - Comparing National Policies   Four main conclusions can be drawn from the preceding analysis of Finnish and Swedish security.   First, even though Finland and Sweden are neighbours and share histories and values, they have had different perceptions of security and they pursued different security policies in the inter-war period as well as during the Cold War even though the countries were known as the Nordic neutrals.   Second, much has changed since 1989. As a result of the end of the Cold War, the Finnish and Swedish security policies are today in many respects closer to each other than they have ever been before.   Third, geopolitics explains many of the differences and similarities between Swedish and

Finnish security policies. Despite the geographical and cultural affinity, geopolitics divided Finland and Sweden for the greater part of the twentieth century. The single most important factor was the Soviet Union. In fact, it is impossible to understand the policies pursued by Sweden and Finland without taking into consideration the strength and security interests of the eastern great power. The geopolitical shift caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its effect, in particular, on Finland's international position have created more equal opportunities for Swedish and Finnish security policies. Still, even though the Cold War is now over, the presence of Russia influences Northern European security and makes it distinct from security in many other regions of Europe.

Russia has retreated from its historical position in Central Europe and is now far removed from the Balkans, but it is still very much a neighbour to the Nordic and Baltic states.   Fourth, even though the Nordic "sisters" pursued different policies in the inter-war period and during the Cold War, Swedish and Finnish securities were firmly interrelated.   Because of the geographical affinity, Swedish policy affected Finnish security and vice versa. Both countries took this relationship into consideration while shaping their respective policies. This interdependence still exists today. To some extent, it now also includes the Baltic states.   Both Finland and Sweden have committed themselves to the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the Union. As a consequence,

neutrality has de facto been redefined in both countries to mean military non-alignment. Finland and Sweden take part in the deepening of the CFSP and in the development of the ESDF but they draw a distinction between crisis management and common defence. While the former is to be developed and pursued, the latter remains unacceptable to them. Maintaining the status of military non-alignment also determines policies towards NATO. Sweden and Finland regard the presence of the US and NATO in Northern Europe as important factors for balancing Russian power and they co-operate increasingly with the Alliance, but they have no intention of joining NATO at the moment. Public opinion remaining decidedly sceptical towards NATO membership is, for both, one of the key factors behind this

policy.   Still, Russia remains important for Finnish and Swedish security. It is in the interests of both Sweden and Finland to work against new dividing lines emerging in Northern Europe. The reinforcement of the independence and international position of the Baltic states is also in the interest of Sweden and Finland, and both are pushing for Baltic EU memberships.   The geopolitical shift caused by the end of the Cold War changed the relationship between Finland and Sweden. Due to EU membership, Finland is no longer that dependent on Sweden and the countries can formulate their security policies more as equal partners. While Finland has moved to where Sweden has been for a long time, the Baltic states may now seem to have taken Finland's former place in this

relationship.   The Baltics need Finland and Sweden for their security and the strengthening of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian independence. The Integration of the Baltic states into the European and transatlantic institutions is in the interest also of Finland and Sweden.   The independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania increases Finland's and Sweden's strategic distance from Russia. The reinforcement of their international position helps to avoid conflicts between the Baltic states and Russia, which could also easily affect  Swedish and Finnish security. Much like the Swedish policy towards Finland during the Cold War, Finland and Sweden are now trying to strengthen their own security by strengthening the security of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They