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Oksanen: Trump, Putin benefit from weak Europe

Finnish-Estonian author Sofi Oksanen believes Trump and Putin want to undermine Europe.

Sofi Oksanen pitämässä puhetta Senaatintorilla.
Sofi Oksanen. Image: Liisa Takala / Yle

Helsinki was abuzz with demonstrators on Sunday, with crowds gathering to proclaim support for and opposition to the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on Monday.

Sofi Oksanen, an award-winning Finnish-Estonian author who has played on themes of women in Estonia during and after the Soviet period, was among those who spoke at one of the main demonstrations in Helsinki.

"It seems both Trump and Putin want to make Europe as weak as possible," Oksanen told Yle News at the Helsinki Calling demonstration in Helsinki’s Senate Square on Sunday.

Oksanen recently wrote in the Guardian, "Finland was a psychological laboratory for the reach of Soviet power, a place where Moscow could conveniently study the impacts of reflexive control– in which a subject is led to take a certain decision by controlling of the information they receive."

Referring to alleged Russian meddling in US elections, Oksanen said Russia used this method to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

At the Helsinki Calling rally, Oksanen said Finland’s bilateral trade with the Soviet Union played a crucial role in Finlandisation, and that lucrative trade deals today are a cause for alarm.

"Trump and Putin are offering different kinds of bilateral deals to make cracks in the European Union," Oksanen told Yle News.

According to the Finnish-Estonian novelist, Finlandisation served Moscow’s agenda well during the cold war, as it created the impression that the Soviet Union could peacefully share a border with Finland, a Nordic democracy.

"Trump’s government’s interests are not Finland's interests, quite simply," Oksanen told Yle News.

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