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Finland is prepared for possible confrontation with Russia

“We have been training for this situation since the 2nd World War”, says the Finnish minister for European affairs…

Since the invasion of Ukraine, countries neighboring Russia have been preparing for a possible escalation of the conflict. Among them is Finland, a Nordic country with more than 1,300 kilometers of border with Russia. In a conversation with the Financial Times this Wednesday (30. Mar.2022), the Finnish minister for European affairs, Tytti Tuppurainen, said that the country will not be “hit by surprise” in the event of an attack from Moscow.

Finland has been conducting “comprehensive security” plans for the protection of citizens since World War II. Planning is discussed by managers from all sectors of society, who meet regularly to discuss the country’s defense and emergency response.

On February 24, Finland showed a willingness to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Entry is still being discussed by Finnish leaders, but, for the first time, the majority of society supports the alliance candidacy. However, Russia threatened accession with “serious military and political repercussions”.

In response to a possible Russian offensive, the Finnish civil defense said it was prepared. According to the Interior Ministry, by 2020, at least 54 bomb shelters had been built. Below the capital, Helsinki, there is a network of tunnels, measuring 10 km² and about 300 km long, built-in 1980. In addition to underground shelters, the government recommends the use of underground parking lots as evacuation centers.

Almost 1/3 of the Finnish population of 5.5 million people are reservists in the Armed Forces. The Nordic nation can call upon one of the largest military troops in proportion to its size in Europe.

HISTORY OF CONFRONTS

The country has already faced Russia during the confrontation known as the “Winter War”, from 1939 to 1940. At the end of the conflict, the country lost part of its territory to Soviet troops. “We have had bad experiences in our history several times. We never forget them, they are in our DNA,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told the FT.

During the Cold War, Finland adopted a neutral stance in the conflict. But after joining the European Union and approaching NATO, there was an urgency to consolidate itself as an independent western nation.

The invasion of Ukraine has shaken the international community’s confidence in its claims to territory. “Northern countries fear that their sovereignty is threatened. This is reflected in the support provided by Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland to Ukraine, whether implementing sanctions against Russia or sending weapons, among other initiatives”.

Source: With Agencies

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