Russia and Finland have never had particularly harmonious relations and they appear to be getting worse. Finland is interested in joining NATO as part of its growing links to the West. Citizens will vote on a referendum on the issue. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy Sergei Markov has responded with a menacing statement that “If Finland wants to join NATO, they should think first . Will you join and start World War III? Anti-Semitism started World War II. Russofobien can start a third.”
Russian threats to Finland are nothing new. Under Stalin, Russia created the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with Hitler, including a secret pact to take over weaker nations including Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. It would later backfire on the Russians when Hitler then invaded their country and they switched sides to the allies. However, Finland proved a disaster for the Russians. While they would prevail by sheer crushing numbers, the tiny army of Finland ran circles around the Russians for months and inflicted huge losses. Eventually, Finland ceded territory representing 11% of its land area and 30% of its economy to the Soviet Union. There is good reason for the Finns to look to the West given that history as well as closer cultural affinity to NATO nations.
Markov warned Finland that it might see a new World War and presumably Russian troops in combat operations. Markov is quoted as saying that Finland is one of the most russofobiske (russophobic) countries after Sweden and the Baltic countries. He has called the Finnish media “despicable” in their continued references to “Russian influence” in various bordering countries. Even more menacing is his prediction of a new federation including Donetsk, Luhansk, Charkiv, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporozjie. He said it will be called Novorossija or “New Russia.”
That sounds a lot like the Old Russia to neighboring countries and Putin critics. While Putin and his aides have denounced comparisons to Hitler in his expansion into areas like the Crimea, his people appear to be morphing into historical villains. Indeed, Markov sounds a lot like the pathetic figure of Vyacheslav Molotov.
Despite the plummeting popularity of Russia and Putin outside of the country, Putin is soaring in popularity among Russians and anti-American sentiments appear on the rise.
For Putin’s part, he appears to be taking a page from Stalin’s playbook when Uncle Joe said “Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”
91 thoughts on “Russian Envoy: If Finland Joins NATO, It Could Trigger World War III”
Some things in my mind at the moment:
-It’s real great to be Finnish and not know anything what our government is thinking about this!!
-And also Finland did manage to do pretty well in world war 2. But I bet Russia has more powerful weapons these days..
-What if we join NATO? Will we be doomed to death? Maybe?
-Will USA help us even if we didn’t join NATO?
-How about other countries? Sweden? Sweden hasn’t really helped us in the other wars either.
– is Russia 100% serious they want to start ww3 because scrubby little Finland joins NATO?? Is Russia ready for it? (Also what the hell Putin?)
Salli – Putin is an old school KGB bully. If he can scare Finland into backing out of NATO he will. Given the history between Finland and Russian (Soviets) if I were Finland, I would join NATO tomorrow.
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.” Thomas Jefferson
Russia can’t afford to create a USSR. That’s what killed them in the first place, and what will happen to us soon, too. Russia is pushing back against the US, NATO trying to force them into staying in the petrodollar game. Does everyone swallow the “humanitarian” missions of all the countries we have wiped out in the last decade? I don’t know if you’ve looked lately, but they sure are not the oases of advanced society. With the revelation, that on top of the endless invasions, that the gov spends most of its spying buck on us, why worry about vlady all the way over there?? Let them sort it out. China’s the real problem here–they hold all the cards, and I don’t think our esteemed deep state really knows what to do about that yet. We should probably be making trade deals with Russia to help isolate China, but there’s no money in that for defense countractors. Oh yeah… India will be the next problem. Since they are joining the league of gold only, we’ll start hearing about how evil they are, and the NED will start its subversive tactics in their country. It’s a simple and consistent formula. All these years now after the Iraq lies–I just don’t understand how everyone just jumps on the fanned hysteria. When Russia starts a subversive campaign in Mexico or Canada, then we can talk.
saucy: I agree that Finland should be worried. Russia invaded Georgia, seized The Crimea, and just threatened Finland.
Past behavior predicts future behavior. It looks like Putin has the goal of recreating the USSR.
Karen Once again you are not quite right about the “invasion” of countries by Russia. They did NOT invade Georgia, but intervened against the US citizen who was President at the time who attacked the people of Osetia.who were in that part of Georgia. McCain and others were pushing to have NATO attack in support of the right wing regime who wanted to purge Georgia of “outsiders”. He attacked the Russians living there, and Russia acted to save those folks. I also have to remind you that Stalin is their hometown hero and is the one place that still has a statue and museum devoted to him.
If you think that Putin is trying to re-create the old Russian empire, then you might have a point IF Putin had actually invaded ALL of Georgia and incorporated it into Russia once again. There is nothing the US or NATO could or would do to stop him. The same is true of the Ukraine. There is nothing NATO could or would do in response. If past actions are a guide to the future, then Russia would have to fear an invasion by the USA since the US DID in FACT invade the Soviet Union and there are hundreds of dead GIs buried in Russia as a result of that invasion. When did the Soviet Union invade the US? Not only that, but under JFK, Gen Lemay sent USAF bombers into the Soviet Union ILLEGALLY! Ever wonder why there are no memorials to LeMay in the USAF? He should have been court-martialed at the very least.
Pat Buchanan knows this is a joke. The NED seems to be pretty sure it can roll Putin with another color revolution. Russia is basically a poor country, and we are still trying to strong arm business terms with oil based on the dollar. Any military guy with a military hat can see this game, I don’t know why it’s so hard for many of you to comprehend. It was never about Ukraine, that was just our springboard. Look at a map!
Or, just go back to watching your defense industry network news.
randyjet wrote “why does [Finland] need NATO now? In fact, Sweden is a greater threat since they have a million of Swedish speaking people in Finland, and it used to be part of Sweden”
It probably has something to do with the fact that Sweden has not fought a war since 1814, while Russia invaded Crimea and Eastern Ukraine just recently. And the Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939 and stole 11% of its territory. And the Soviet Union sent many people from Eastern Europe to the gulag.
Also, in 2005, Putin said: “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. For the Russian people, it became a real drama. Tens of millions of our citizens and countrymen found themselves outside Russian territory. The epidemic of disintegration also spread to Russia itself.”
P.S. Your comments regarding Poland make you sound like a card-carrying member of Erika Steinbach’s Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen).
saucy, I see that not only do you lack basic knowledge of history, but have no sense of humor too. The FACT is that Russian has NOT invaded Eastern Ukraine, and did accede to demands from the people of the Crimea who are overwhelmingly pro-Russian. This also ignores the FACT that Crimea was until recently part of Russia under the Soviet Union.
What Putin said was quite accurate in terms of what happened to Russians who were now outside of Russia as a result of the fall of the Soviet Union. The consequences for them were severe since they were NOT granted any political rights in the new nations. For example in the Baltic states, the ethnic Russians had no right to vote or be considered citizens, even though they were BORN there. I know that rightwingers like you like the idea of denying peoples rights, so I am sure you think that is a good thing.
I never heard of Erika, since I don’t follow your Nazi buddies as well as you.
randyjet wrote “the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was forced on the Soviets, and they only signed after the Germans attacked and grabbed more territory from the Soviet Union”
I’ll just remind you of what you said earlier: “In FACT, it was the Bolsheviks that granted the Finns their independence.”
What actually happened was this:
– Russia was being beaten badly and then the Bolsheviks took over and asked for a cease-fire.
– Trotsky, being the fool that he was, declared “No peace, no war” and naively expected Germany to just stop fighting (some sources claim he said “No war, no peace”).
– Germany restarted the war and pushed the Red Army back.
– Lenin intervened and accepted the German terms (the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918) which mandated that Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and other areas be given to Germany.
– Shortly thereafter the war ended, with Germany being forced to surrender the aforementioned countries in accordance with the Versailles Treaty, giving them their independence until the Soviets invaded in 1939-40.
Therefore, In FACT, it was NOT the Bolsheviks that [sic] granted the Finns their independence. They were forced to do so and did not grant anything. If Russia had won or been able to leave the war with the territory it had at the time, the aforementioned countries would have never been freed.
randyjet wrote “It also had little to do with Finland.”
Given that the two treaties gave Finland its independence, we can safely conclude that it had a great deal to do with Finland.
saucy, sorry for replying so late, but I have to work. The FACT is that the Bolsheviks granted Finland’s independence in Dec. 1917. To say that the Bolsheviks had nothing to do with it and did so under duress is absurd since the negotiations at Brest Litovsk did not get under way until after the Soviets had acted. It is delusional since it overlooks the whole Bolshevik program which granted the right of self determination, and Lenin himself called Russia a prison house of nations and hated great Russian chauvinism. In fact, the Germans did not grant independence to any of the Baltic states, but wanted them to be under German princes. You need to learn some real history.
Trotsky only took over after the initial negotiations yielded such an onerous terms. The terms were rejected by the Central Committee of people commissars, with Lenin on the losing side of the vote. Trotsky said that he would change his vote if the Germans resumed the war after he tried to declare no war and no peace. They did and the others changed their votes to accept the even worse terms.
It is funny that you denounce the Bolsheviks yet support Kerensky who would have tried to continue the war and the Baltic States and Finland would never have gained their independence had he remained and Russia remained in the war. The Bolsheviks had campaigned on the slogans, of peace, bread, and land, and when they took power in the Soviets moved to implement their program, especially that of granting independence to the nations in the Russian Empire.This is why Kerensky hated the Bolsheviks and thought quite highly of Stalin restoring the Russian empire boundaries.
i didn’t see it in the article either, but i do remember that in the 90’s when some ex soviet block countries wanted to join nato it came up then too. my guess is assurances were made but not put in writing.
2) changing circumstances would have voided any promises made to begin with. The Soviet Union no longer exists so there is no one to promise to.
sounds more like an excuse than a reason. maybe that’s why they didn’t put it in writing.
pete – tag it however you want, the result is the same. 😉
pete – read the article in der spiegel and my decision is that the West did not break its promise because 1) there were no real promises made 2) changing circumstances would have voided any promises made to begin with. The Soviet Union no longer exists so there is no one to promise to.
Past behavior predicts future behavior.
What does Russia’s expansion into Georgia and The Crimea predict?
Ah, yes, the stale government bread lines. Because socialism is always such a success! Everyone is equal. Equally miserable, that is, unless you had government connections.
And, here we are, where government unions are unfireable, with cush benefits. And a push for more and more government programs to address income inequality, as our economy tanks. Fostering a hatred for the rich and successful, eroding the middle class under crushing Obamacare premiums. But, I’m SURE it will work out differently this time!
It always floors me when people think the US is “just as bad” as Russia, Communist China, etc. We are a people with no memory.
Does Obama still think the Eighties want their foreign policy back?
I once had the privilege of taking some graduate courses in Buddhism from a former Ambassador to the United States and France from Sri Lanka. When I asked him why his government declined U.S. offers of military assistance with the Tamil insurgency then taking place in his country he said:
“If the Americans come, they will draw an arbitary line through a temporary problem and make it permanent.”
Small countries inviting larger countries in for a little “help,” more often than not find the larger countries strangely unwilling to ever leave or stop helping themselves to whatever they want. This ancient wisdom seems especially appropriate whenever or wherever the United States proposes a little “enduring” miltiary assistance. And you can tell when the U.S. military has lost another war the minute they start calling it “long.”
Anyone who wants to discover the extent to which Russia is channeling its inner Goebbels in Ukraine should view the article “Pro-Separatists Mislead With Recycled Images (WARNING: Graphic Images)” from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (rferlDOTorg).
Vince Jankoski wrote “Somebody let me know if I left anybody out”
Hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were exiled by Stalin in 1942-3. They were only allowed back starting in Gorby’s era.
Chechens and Ingushs were also exiled by Stalin.
Many exiles sent to Siberia were forced to build first the houses of their guards, then their houses, then canals and other things which should never have been built in northern Siberia. Many died.
“let us not forget the aforementioned Ribbentrop-Molotov pact”
Which resulted in the Sovs invading Poland less than two weeks after their signing partners.
saucy,I have to laugh at your mention of Poland and the Molotov Ribbentrop pact. Too bad you forget what Poland did prior to WWII when Hitler took over the rest of Czechoslovakia. The Polish dictatorship joined with their good buddy Hitler in taking a good chunk of that poor country. So for Poland to protest about what Stalin did is a bit hypocritical and stupid since Stalin was desperately seeking allies against Hitler in the West, and wanted an alliance with Poland. Read Manchesters.bio of Churchill, Alone, to see the history of that period of appeasement. Col Beck was very proud of the fact that he rejected Stalin’s proposals! At least the part of Poland the Soviets took was part of Russia that had been granted them by Lord Curzon, a British diplomat, when he drew the borders for Poland at Versailles. Poland attacked the Soviet Union and stole that part of the Ukraine when the rest of 14 nations were attacking it. So Stalin only took BACK what he been stolen, while the Poles STOLE what had NEVER been theirs under international law or population from Czechoslovakia. So which do you think is more dishonorable?
randyjet- I consider Manchester such a flawed historian, I would not read his biography of anyone. When you lie in your autobiography, you have no standard of proof in anything else you write. BTW, didn’t the Kennedys’ stop his biography of JFK until he made revisions?
fiver, if the West was truly interested in encircling Russia, they would have done so 20 some years ago when the USSR folded, not waited until now, after Russia had regained its power and economy.
Ukraine’s recent presidents, both Kuchma and Yushchenko, had been members of the politburo, the old Soviet guard, who lived in luxury while 90% of the working population stood in bread lines during USSR times. Raiding Ukraine’s assets did not work out very well for them. Fed up, the people of Ukraine finally threw their asses out, first Kuchma then Yushchenko. The native people of Ukraine are a warm, generous, docile people, unlike their crude Russian counterpart whose genes have not yet been cleansed of the Bolshevik insanity. Even Putin himself in his speech of March 18 admitted the past injustices inflicted on the Ukrainian people, including intentional starvation that eclipsed the Holocaust in numbers of people who perished. He merely brushed it off by saying that we must move forward.
If the US was as aggressive as Russia has been, Canada and Mexico, maybe countries of Central and South America, too, would have all been ruled by Washington by now.
Really, can you maybe just come to terms with yourself and admit that you’re just piling on the US?
Darren – I am not sure that WordPress actually has an algorithm. We have be getting some spam lately while it has been eating more comments.
Dredd I restored your comment. It is above at 3:38.
Dredd I restored your comment. It is above at 3:32
Dredd I restored your comment. It is above at 3:30
Thanks. Thanks. Thanks Darren.
I was trying to figure out what WordMess thought was wrong, hence, three variations.
Still don’t know.
Bad day for WordMess I suppose.
I have yet to determine what constitutes spam by commentators here. I suspect wordpress would not be willing to share their algorithms. 🙂
Never, ever say that the U.S. has killed more people than has Russia. Stalin’s collectivization alone killed millions of Ukranians in a decade. Rough but informed estimates put the death toll of Stalin’s purges around 15,000,000. That’s just in the last century. Add to that total the carnage of a millennia of oppression of Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Jews, Rumanians, and Ukranians, and that’s just in the West. Somebody let me know if I left anybody out. Turn east and there is more – the slaughter of a number of Asiatic peoples who got in the way of Russian expansion. Plus, let us not forget the aforementioned Ribbentrop-Molotov pact which paved the way for millions more deaths in WWII.
I’d say it’s a figurative step above SDI, so to speak. Literally, though, it’s a step below in that these prospective military allies are all around Russia’s earth border and tightening – on the ground. SDI was also quite aggressive, but in space and in a more directly nuclear context.
My link got lost last post (my bad) but it’s worth repeating Check out NATO’s advancing steps on Russia. This is very aggressive, Cold War, posturing on behalf of the US and quite familiar.
Similar to SDI? Yep. But why? The Cold War is over. Isn’t it? Has Obama not only brought back the neo-cons after the Bush disgrace, but also brought back the Cold Warriors!
fiver – thanks to former Cold Warrior Putin, the Cold War is back.
The main real purpose of SDI was mainly to boost military spending, to act as a means of stopping a Soviet strike AFTER the US first strike devastated their nuclear forces. Gorbachev had his scientists look at the SDI, and concluded that the Soviets did not have to worry about it since it was NOT viable and the Soviets did not need to counter it. I would like to ask ALL Reagan fans, WHERE IS STAR WARS NOW? I knew a physicist who got a contract on it, and he admitted that it was bogus, but he said it was free money, so why not?
Then once again, if Finland kept its independence during the Cold War without being in NATO, why does it need NATO now? In fact, Sweden is a greater threat since they have a million of Swedish speaking people in Finland, and it used to be part of Sweden. To my knowledge, there are not that many primary Russian speaking Finns.
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