Finlandisation – the way a powerful state bullies its neighbour – was a fact of life in the Finland I was born in. And it still partly is
When the news broke that a Putin-Trump summit would be held in Helsinki, some comments made my ears prick up. In the international media there was talk of Finland having been chosen as a venue because it is “neutral ground”, a country deemed to have a history of neutrality, and where east-west meetings had been held during the cold war. But Finland today is nothing of the sort. It is a member of the European Union. It is not somewhere in a grey zone between Europe and Russia.
My schoolbooks all said that Estonia had voluntarily joined the Soviet ‘family’. Of course, this wasn’t true