News |

Former General: "They wouldn’t dare come here"

Former Defence Forces Commander, retired General Gustav Hägglund, said that Finland should look to its defence, however, he does not believe that that the country has reason for concern. He was one of three experts in an Yle discussion Wednesday morning on Russia's latest moves and their impact on great-power politics and on Finland.

Kenraali Gustav Hägglund.
Gustav Hägglund. Image: Yle

During the discussion, which touched upon the political and security issues around recent events in Crimea, General Hägglund said that he doesn't believe that Finland has reason to worry.

"They wouldn’t dare come here. They know that they'd get a bloody nose. We stand by our historic achievements. We have a different background than Eastern European countries that were conquered and occupied," Hägglund stated. "This is a tough nut to crack, this Finland."

Soviet Union "light"

The Finnish experts gathered for the discussion saw in the Ukraine crisis attempt to reclaim Russian grandeur and internal order.

"The Russian president has put a seal on a lifetime presidency. A shift is underway from authoritarianism towards dictatorship," said journalist Jarmo Koponen. 

"A move has been made towards a light version of the Soviet Union. This has internal political support. In a situation when the ruble was falling and there were cross-currents of internal pressures, a victorious little war is the best medicine," Russian-watcher and journalist Leena Liukkonen added.

Kosovo different

Liukkonen noted that in his speech on Tuesday, President Putin listed all the injustices against Russia since the end of the Cold War. Putin has also consistently compared the situation in Crimea to that in Kosovo.

"Some kind of new global political architecture is now being created that is known to no one. It is sure that he himself [President Putin] cannot precisely know," said Liukkonen.

She pointed out, however, that the Kosovo conflict had been under way for a long time before NATO intervened.

"No neighbouring country took over Kosovo and integrated it into its territory. These are things that should be remembered in this debate," Leena Liukkonen pointed out.

Latest in: News

Headlines

News

Chancellor of Justice comes down in favour of minister in nuclear power permit row

Finland’s Chancellor of Justice Jaakko Jonkka has swept aside concerns that that Economic Affairs Minister Jan Vapaavuori faced a conflict of interest when he proposed revisiting a construction permit for a nuclear power plant after having signed off on a cooperation deal involving the plant’s proposed contractor. Jonkka ruled that Vapaavuori was discharging his official duties when he sealed the deal with the Russian state nuclear supplier Rosatom, and proposed a new permit for them to construct a nuclear plant in northwest Finland.

Our picks

Latest

Muualla Yle.fi:ssä