- Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948
The Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, also known as the YYA Treaty from the Finnish "Ystävyys-, yhteistyö- ja avunantosopimus" ("YYA-sopimus") (Swedish: "Vänskaps-, samarbets- och biståndsavtalet (VSB-avtalet))," was the basis for Finno–Soviet relations from
Under the treaty, which was signed on
April 6, 1948, the Soviets sought to deter Western or AlliedPowers from attacking the Soviet Unionthrough Finnish territory, and the Finns sought to increase Finland's political independencefrom the Soviet Union. It thus ensured Finland's survival as a liberal democracyin close proximity to strategic Soviet regions, such as the Kola Peninsulaand the old capital Leningrad.
Under the pact, Finland was obliged to resist armed attacks by "Germany or its allies" (in reality interpreted as "the
United Statesand allies") against Finland, or against the Soviet Union through Finland. If necessary, Finland was to ask for Soviet military aid to do so. The agreement also recognized Finland's desire to remain outside great-power conflicts, allowing the country to adopt a policy of neutrality in the Cold War.
Due to the uncertain status of Finno–Soviet relations in the years after the
Continuation War, and the precise interpretation of the treaty's wording, Finland followed the Warsaw Pactcountries' decision and did not participate in the Marshall Plan. As a result, Finland's post-war period of economic hardship was prolonged, compared to other European capitalist countries, and it thus became considerably more economically dependent on the Soviet Union. In general, Finland kept its relations towards western military powers very cool (including the proposed Scandinavian Defense Union) and NATOin particular. By avoiding supporting the West, it attempted to fend off Soviet pressure for affiliation with the Warsaw Pact.
The YYA Treaty was a cornerstone in Paasikivi's foreign policy. It was also a central policy under the presidency of
Kekkonen( 1956– 1981), who dubbed his foreign policy doctrine"the Paasikivi-Kekkonen line." The treaty was an instrumental tool for the Soviet Union to gain political leverage in the internal affairs of Finland in post-war era. This influence was commonly referred to as finlandisation.
The Soviet Union had similar agreements with many nations, that were not directly allied with it but depended heavily on Soviet support, such as
North Koreasince 1961, with India since 1971, Vietnamsince 1978, etc. The first such agreement was with Free Francein 1943, however.
* [http://www.mannerheim.fi/11_pres/e_yya.htm Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance] at www.mannerheim.fi
* [http://www.paasikivi-seura.fi/society/paasikivipolicy.htm The Paasikivi Policy and Foreign-Policy Thinking] at the "Paasikivi Society"
* [http://countrystudies.us/finland/24.htm The Cold War and the Treaty of 1948] from Library of Congress (the Country Studies)
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