Courtesy Reuters

Finland and Russia signed a friendship treaty in Helsinki on January 20, 1992, consisting of many clauses, including commercial and financial ones. More significant was the exchange of notes that same day. These certified the cancellation of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance signed in Moscow on April 6, 1948. That treaty, the result of the Soviet victory in the Second World War, established the limitations of an independent Finnish foreign policy and, indeed, certain conditions of Finnish independence itself. That those limitations proved manageable and flexible was principally due to the moderation and wisdom of successive Finnish governments, including their recognition

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