Member of the European Parliament Henrik Lax believes that Finnish politicians are understating the threat that Russia presents. He told yesterday’s meeting of the Swedish People’s Party (Sfp) board that the Georgia-crisis gives serious reasons for Finland to review its position towards Russia.
Lax told the Sfp meeting that people ought to clearly realise that Russia is pursuing a policy of confrontation and not cooperation.
He was critical of the government’s reaction to the turn of events and seemed to also direct criticism at the president of the republic, Tarja Halonen. Lax stated that we should not be putting the Estonians’ conclusions on the events in Georgia into a psychological context. According to Lax, “they have a much more realistic understanding of Russia that we do”. In recent days, Halonen has come under heavy criticism from especially the Estonian media after it had appeared she suggested that Estonia was still suffering from a kind of post-Soviet stress.
Lax said that Finland’s position was in danger of being so naive and uncritical that “we should not be surprised if the word ‘finlandisation’ turns up again [to describe the Finnish position] – both at home and abroad”
Henrik Lax has long taken an interest in Russian affairs, being critical in the past of the Nord Stream gas pipeline project under the Baltic sea – particularly the Nord Stream company’s lack of openness. He will retire from the European parliament at the next election to it.