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Topic: What's going on in Scandinavia, North Atlantic, Baltic States and Scotland? (Read 151238 times)

Re: What's going on in Scandinavia, North Atlantic, Baltic States and Scotland?

Reply #551
It has been shaping the last five years or so, dramatically increased the last year, pretty significant changes to be expected the next five to ten years. After the Cold War a lull in the Naugties, and now this rearmament a.

More importantly the Nordic integration. Effectively the Nordic countries have been split into two theatres since WWII, the Arctic  theatre comprising Iceland, Denmark (and Greenland) and Norway, and the Baltic theatre comprising Sweden, Finland and pieces of Denmark. These two are now merging.

Nordic Air Force Takes Flight

(That merge is happening elsewhere in Europe too, like the slow merge of Dutch and German forces)

Re: What's going on in Finland

Reply #552
Biden will visit Finland next week https://yle.fi/a/74-20039704

Last time an American president visited Helsinki, it was Trump and Putin. Trump asked Putin if he had meddled with the presidential elections. Putin said no. Trump later informed American public, "I strongly pressed Putin and he vehemently denied it was him."

Before that, W saw Putin's soul by looking into his eyes. I hope Putin won't be around this time. He tends to induce excited schoolgirl behaviour in American presidents.

What's going on in Estonia?

Reply #553
Finnish state media created a nice animation implicating a Russian vessel in damaging a data cable between Estonia and Sweden and a gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland. Also, alongside the gas pipeline another data cable between Estonia and Finland was affected.

https://yle.fi/a/74-20056160

 

What's going on in Finland?

Reply #554
This morning Finland's state broadcaster published an article saying that the current Finnish government awakened to a thought that maybe it's a good idea to revisit and review the history of Russian influence and meddling in Finland's politics, how deep it has run and what its current aftereffects are. For example, a researcher notes that it would be interesting to analyse the exceptions and special privileges given to certain individuals and companies in Finland under the current sanctions regime, and the instances where police and other authorities claim they "cannot do anything" despite sanctions. Another researcher says that Russia's "soft power" may have hit Finland very hard https://yle.fi/a/74-20056140

*Not* in the article is the grossest example of Russia's corrupting power on Western governments in recent memory: The recruitment of Finland's ex-prime minister Paavo Lipponen to Nord Stream board. Thus Finland was about as rotten at its topmost level as Germany when Russia was playing its gas games. In Germany it's called schröderisation, while in Finland it can be seen as a reverberation of finlandisation, i.e. a longer history of "neutrality" policy with regard to Russia/Soviet Union.

However, what *is* in the article is eight points worth investigating according to the researchers and investigative journalists:
1. What was Russia's grand strategy? With regard to Finland, it seems to have been smooth talk to keep Finland away from Nato, while Russia was painting the rest of "collective West" as a threat and danger.

2. Why did Finland fail in its (geopolitical) forecasts? The article quotes a professor saying that Russia was exporting fear and Finland was buying it.

3. Was Russia blocking Finland's membership of Nato? This is about the hypothetical that if Russia had blitzconquered Ukraine in the end of February 2022, would Finland have been able to join Nato.

4. Were Finns misled (by the communication of their own government) in the energy deals? Energy deals such as Nord Stream and Finland's nuclear power stations in collaboration with Rosatom.

5. Have "home Russkies" had an effect even in 21st century? "Home Russkies" refers to KGB misinformation operatives who kept contact with Finnish politicians (the president, prime minister, most leaders of political parties and important news outlets), cultivating a positive image of Russia in Finland. Such contacts became normal after WWII, even celebrated during Kekkonen's presidency, and lasted long after Kekkonen, possibly into 21st century according to a good book detailing the relevant diplomatic/intelligence history of Finland, Kremlin kortti by Alpo Rusi, which I have read.

6. Did Putin's oligarchs gain special privileges? Spoiler: Obviously yes. Some of them hold Finland's citizenship awarded for "services rendered to the nation".

7. Was Airiston Helmi a threat to national security? Along with other notable Russian-funded real estate projects, Airiston Helmi, a massive construction object in Finland's territory, appears to have been developed for military purposes.

8. Did Russia warp the opinion of Finns? The relevant instances here are Russia's troll factories and earlier court cases where Russia has accused Finns of abducting Russians in connection with adoptions and separated families, discriminatring against Russians culturally and linguistically. There is also an ongoing Russian history project investigating an alleged genocide against Russian Karelians during WWII.

In an earlier article there is an overview of the construction of Alakurtti, a military base in Russia near Finland's border built as a joint venture of Finland and Russia in early 90's. At the time, both Finland and Russia were suffering from economic crisis and neither side saw a security problem. Soon after completion, the military personnel at the location were decommissioned and the project turned (elite) civilian, but now it is again a notable military base in Russia at Finland's border https://yle.fi/a/74-20013084

What's going on in Scotland?

Reply #555
Scotland still has no mercy on witches.

SNP MSP Natalie Don had introduced a private member’s bill to the Holyrood in 2022 in which she said the failure to pardon the women “prolongs misogyny”.

The proposed Witchcraft Convictions (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill would have pardoned those convicted under the Witchcraft Act 1563.

One X user said: “Where’s the compassion for all those that were turned into newts by witches.”

Another said: “If this is your priority then your constituents are being robbed of their taxes.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Natalie Don’s member’s bill was withdrawn when she was appointed as a minister as it is a parliamentary rule that Scottish ministers do not promote member’s bills. Ministers have no plans to legislate in this area.”

Re: What's going on in Scandinavia, North Atlantic, Baltic States and Scotland?

Reply #556
Putin wants Estonia's PM. I wonder how much he is willing to pay for her. Prigozhin was valued by various US services from $100,000 up to $8m. But there's no Prigozhin anymore available for bounty hunters. What's KGB's preiskurant?

Another question is that maybe Putin feels like not paying out anything out to the bounty hunter who delivers. Or maybe he will pay AND send the bounty hunter to the Ukraine front.