Could Europe be Finlandised?

Finlandisation. Noun. The process whereby a country is induced to favour, or refrain from opposing, the interests of a more powerful country, despite not being politically allied to it.

It is entirely fitting that the Trump-Putin summit will occur in Helsinki. Plucky Finland, which had fought the Red Army to a draw in 1940, thereafter accepted a quasi-vassal role. It remained a free market democracy, but it entered into a "treaty of friendship" with the Soviet Union, compromising its principles and even its sovereignty so as not to provoke the bear next door.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline 'Could Europe be Finlandised?'. Print Edition | Subscribe