Sunday, September 4, 2011
Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance between Finland and the USSR
The Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance concluded between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1948, was one of the basic documents of the post-war foreign policy in Finland. The Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, also known as the YYA Treaty from the Finnish Ystävyys-, yhteistyö- ja avunantosopimus (YYA-sopimus), was the basis for Finno–Soviet relations from 1948 to 1992. Under the treaty, which was signed on April 6, 1948, the Soviets sought to deter Western or Allied Powers from attacking the Soviet Union through Finnish territory, and the Finns sought to increase Finland's political independence from the Soviet Union. It thus ensured Finland's survival as a liberal democracy in close proximity to strategic Soviet regions, such as the Kola Peninsula and the old capital Leningrad.
Under the pact, Finland was obliged to resist armed attacks by "Germany or its allies" (in reality interpreted as the United States and allies) against Finland, or against the Soviet Union through Finland. If necessary, Finland was to ask for Soviet military aid to do so. The agreement also recognized Finland's desire to remain outside great-power conflicts, allowing the country to adopt a policy of neutrality in the Cold War. Due to the uncertain status of Finno–Soviet relations in the years after the Continuation War, and the precise interpretation of the treaty's wording, Finland followed the Warsaw Pact countries' decision and did not participate in the Marshall Plan. As a result, Finland's post-war period of economic hardship was prolonged, compared to other European capitalist countries, and it thus became considerably more economically dependent on the Soviet Union. In general, Finland kept its relations towards western military powers officially distant (including the proposed Scandinavian Defence Union) and NATO in particular. By avoiding supporting the West, it attempted to fend off Soviet pressure for affiliation with the Warsaw Pact.
This treaty according to me was completely USSRcentric, probably dictated by the Soviets, and gulped down under duress by the Finns. It was a case of “Like it, or Lump it” for Finland. Unfortunately, this blog can only attempt to introduce the nuances of a topic. The search and interpretation of the rest of history is upto the reader. My dear friend Ella gave me this FDC.