Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Senator suing Finnish newspaper?

According to the morning news, Russia is said to in the 1990’s have proposed to sell back the eastern parts of Finland, Carelia, which was ceded in World War II.

Now the a former Russian State Secretary and First Deputy Prime Minister stated in the story, who currently is a senator in the upper house of parliament, has threatened to take legal action against the Finnish newspaper that published the story “if he feels Russia has been insulted”.
According to the story, which was published in last week Finnish newspaper, “
Russia was in the 1990s fighting financial problems and considered selling the former Finnish regions of Carelia back to Finland”. The paper continued by saying that the senator, an aide to the then-president Boris Yeltsin, “was to speak to Finnish leadership in the matter”. The story has now been denied by the senator saying that “no Russian leader has ever promised to return any land back to Finland in any way”, saying that “the claims were probably based on internal discussions within Finland”.

Nothing to worry about, Finland already got back some parts of Carelia from the Russians, even though it was to be inhaled in small particles by most Finns last summer during the many forest fires that kept on burning for weeks on the other side of the eastern border.

Still, the border between Germany and France has been moved so many times during the centuries that the citizens of Elsass, or Alsace are more or less both French and German never minding where their passports are issued, and Britain and France are still at war since the times of Joan of Arc as no peace treaty was written back then if I remember it correctly.

But as Carelia was such a big part Finland with large crowds of fugitives having to flee leaving all their property behind only to be relocated in Finland with no property at all, it is hard for many Finns to accept the fact that Carelia still today remains Russian and is not joined back with the rest of Finland.

Today with all that has been going on in the St Petersburg and the surrounding areas with building and construction, the modern Russia of the 21st century having invested too much economically in the recent years to just let go of it, it seems most unlikely that Finland ever would regain Carelia, according to most Finnish experts specialised in Finno-Russian relations, and this to the great disappointment and being a hard fact to accept for many Finns both with and without Carelian heritage.

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