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Finnish History

During the Viking Age, between the eighth and 11th centuries, Finland was larger in area larger than the present country, as it extended as far east as the Karel peninsula, which is now part of the Russian Federation. Over the next 300 years Finland was fought over by it’s two strong neighbors the Swedish and the Russians. The Finnish tried to keep there language and way of life, but it was tough as there neighbors continued to fight for territory.

In 1917, Finland was an autonomous region within the Russian Empire but, in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, Finland declared independence, which the new Soviet government accepted after brief efforts to re-assert control. Further fighting between the two took place on the fringes of World War II, between 1939 and 1941. Under a formal peace treaty signed in 1947, the Finns agreed to cede territory to the then USSR and pay reparation.

The existence of a Pact of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance between the two countries has led to the term ‘Finlandisation’. Bilateral relations improved after the arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev at the Kremlin and the two countries signed a ten-year treaty in 1992. Finland joined the EU in 1995 as they wanted to have better relations with other EU countries. Finland’s actions weren’t liked in Russia as they see there influence in the area disappearing.

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