Professor Kari Liuhto, Director of the Pan-European Institute, participated in a panel organised by the Paasikivi Society of Turku at the Europe Forum. The panel was titled: Finland’s Foreign and Security Policy in a World of Division – the New Cold War. Two other speakers at the panel were MP Pekka Haavisto and Governor Olli Rehn, taking a leave of absence from the Bank of Finland. Professor Emeritus Paavo Okko acted as moderator of the panel.
The panellist started the discussion by defining Finland’s position in the new security environment in Europe. Haavisto emphasised the idea of Finland, which former president Koivisto has defined as survival. However, Haavisto stated that he was more ambitious and said that the idea of Finland should also mean success. In his words, this means economic success without the trade with Russia and adaptation to green transition.
Rehn’s forewords focused on the developments outside of Finland and its immediate neighbours. According to Rehn, Finland’s NATO membership complements its foreign policy but Finland should still pay attention to global security threats and superpower politics. Finland should also support the unity in the West in regard to the rising authoritarian powers.
Liuhto started the discussion by stating that, in his thinking, the letters of the former YYA Treaty nowadays mean unity, the United States and appropriate armament (Yhteinäisyys, Yhdysvallat, and Asiallinen aseistus). The statement referred to the fact that unity in the West and the role of the United States in NATO are of great importance when it comes to Finland’s national security. Liuhto also emphasised the importance of appropriate armament and stated that there should be consideration about the defence spending. Finland should study whether the current NATO required 2% of GDP is sufficient when considering the current security threats.
You can listen to the whole panel discussion online dubbed into English on YouTube (starting from the beginning of the video).