"Nato membership would remove shadow of Finlandisation"I'm not sure NATO plays any significant role today, but maybe it should be kept for psychological reasons? Many countries are still weary of Russia's intentions. Finland was a part of the kingdom of Sweden for 7 centuries (just as Norway was a part of the kingdom of Denmark for 450 years), and still has a Swedish speaking minority and two official languages. It was conquered by Russia in Napoleonic times, and seized the opportunity during the revolution in 1917 to declare its independence. Although officially neutral, it spent much of the Cold War trying to avoid being swallowed up by the Soviet Union, hence the term "Finlandisation":
Nato membership would remove shadow of Finlandisation -Lax
The presidential candidate of the Swedish People's Party, which represents Finland's Swedish-speaking minority, writes in his election manifesto, made public Monday, that possible Nato membership would be a psychologically important way for Finns to rid themselves of the shadow of Finlandisation. The term was first coined by Richard Löwenthal in 1966 to describe a specific type of domination of a small state by a larger one, the latter being the Soviet Union. Mr Lax adds that shaking off the remnants of Finlandisation will not be possible without Finland's full participation in cooperation between western democracies, including that within the military alliance. "Membership in Nato would put a stop to all conjecture about Finland's security policy and would afford us the possibility to take part in important decision making about our future," Mr Lax said in Helsinki. Further, Mr Lax would like to see stronger links with the rest of the Nordic countries. He feels that it is important that today's young people get acquainted with Finland's 650-year history as part of Sweden.