Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Finland’s Tilt to West Seen Hitting Russian Northwest Hard

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 22 – Finland’s decision to join NATO is already having negative economic and personal consequences for people in the northwestern portion of the Russian Federation, reducing cross-border trade and making travel more difficult for Russians accustomed to taking the bus to Helsinki and then flying the world from there.

            Officials in Karelia say they hope that a projected Russian military build up there in response will compensate for these losses, but it is unclear whether Moscow has the money to invest in much infrastructure there and unlikely that residents of the Russian northwest will regain the travel and shopping advantages they had.

            Consequently, observers say, Finland’s joining the Western alliance will hit the Russian northwest hard, deepening the recession that the region is already suffering and quite possibly triggering more anti-Moscow attitudes in a region that had been relatively calm recently (

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