Finlandization is a troubled concept. It is generally used to describe the attempt by the Soviet Union during the Cold War to hold Finland in a position of neutrality and friendliness toward the Soviet Union, even while politically, Finland was more aligned with the West. In recent years—before the Russian invasion of Ukraine—it was sometimes brought up as a model for Ukraine to straddle the boundary between east and west. But for Finns, Finlandization meant something quite dark—the long-term subjugation of Finland's politics to the will of an authoritarian neighbor.
David Priess sat down with Antti Ruokonen, who wrote an article recently for Lawfare titled, “Why Finlandization is a Terrible Model for Ukraine.” They spoke about Finland's experience in the second World War, the imposed restrictions on its sovereignty because of this Finlandization during the Cold War, and the dangers of seeing Finlandization as a model for peaceful coexistence with Russia.