Tracking Finnish foreign policy as it ricochets wildly between East and West has become a challenge for even the most seasoned observers of Finnish policy. Conflicting messages emerging from Alexander Stubb’s coalition government have put policy at seemingly awkward and disparate odds.
At the same time as Finland moves towards NATO via an official Support Agreement (Stubb has repeatedly stated that the agreement is not a reaction to Russian action in Ukraine), it is distancing itself from EU positions on Russia and the current sanctions regime. While the EU is actively looking for ways to reduce its reliance on Russian energy, Finland has announced plans to build an –apparently flawed– Russian nuclear reactor.
Finnish legal scholars claim that there are serious conflicts of interest with the Rosatom nuclear plant deal and formal complaints were filed on Monday. University of Helsinki law professor, Olli Mäenpää, told Helsingin Sanomat: “the agreement is a textbook example of the improper influence of authority, in this case the Ministry of Employment and Economy.”
The timeline below tracks the twists and turns in recent Finnish foreign policy.
Click on the timeline to enlarge.