It might interest members of this forum to discuss what happened after the WWII between Finland and the Soviet Union, as the wars between them 1939-40 and 1941-44 are already covered in the Axis Nations -thread "Finland and Russia".
So, Finland had fought the WWII as a co-belligerent with the III Reich, which as we know became the losing side. The peace terms were finally determined in the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 with the Allies. How did it go on from there?
After the destruction of the Second World War, Finland had concentrated her energy in rebuilding the country and paying the immense war reparations to the Soviet Union as industrial products, in accordance with the Paris peace treaty of 1947. Finland chose not to receive Marshall Aid from the U.S.A., as it would have upset the Soviets. Spending on national defence had been kept at its all-time low for a prolonged period of time for reasons of political procrastination, which dragged on until the 1960’s.
The legacy of the Second World War and Finland’s geographic location dictated the key elements in her security policy. Since 6th April 1948, on Generalissimo Stalin’s demand Finland had a Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Treaty (FCMA Treaty) with the U.S.S.R., in Finnish “Ystävyys-, yhteistyö- ja avunantosopimus” (“YYA-sopimus”).
It was to remain in force until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The FCMA Treaty placed an obligation on Finland to defend her territory either by herself or jointly with the Soviet Union in the event of a military threat on Finland or the Soviet Union via Finnish Territory by Germany or any country aligned with it (i.e., NATO).
In her pursuit of staying outside of conflicts of interest between the great powers, Finland strove to stay neutral and to get international acknowledgement to her neutral status. By international law, a neutral country always has the obligation to prevent her territory from hostile use against parties of the conflict, so this obligation to deny access to Finnish territory would have been there regardless. According to the FCMA Treaty, the joint measures of defence were to be agreed upon only after mutual consultations between Finland and the U.S.S.R., as opposed to an automatic mechanism of action as decreed in the Warsaw Pact between the Soviet Union and her Eastern European satellites, obliging the parties to joint defence whenever any one of them should become under attack.
Despite the difference between the FCMA Treaty and the Charter of the Warsaw Pact, the Treaty with Soviet influence and interference in Finnish politics caused widespread Western doubt and misunderstanding about the status of Finland, a multi-party parliamentary democracy “in the hug of the Russian bear”. Even if Finland in Western eyes was not regarded as an outright ally of the U.S.S.R. and if Western statesmen politely acknowledged her neutral status in public, the media often depicted Finland as a “pink” or “grey” zone on the map of Europe, unlike Sweden or Switzerland, which were considered genuinely neutral.
What the Western media did not commonly know, the Finnish Defence Forces never had the slightest hesitation in their commitment to an all-out effort in defending Finland, should the Soviet Union have invaded. In 1983 the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Bernard W. Rogers insulted and provoked the Finns by doubting this in public in an interview by the largest Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat
The term “Finlandization” was coined for the debate in West German internal politics, and as the term was used in Germany and other NATO countries, it expressed the process of turning into a neutral country which, although maintaining sovereignty, in foreign politics resolves not to challenge a big and mighty neighbour. In Finland the use of the term was perceived as stemming from an inability to understand the practicalities of how a small nation might hope to make a deal with a culturally and ideologically alien superpower without losing its sovereignty. While the political and intellectual elite understood the term to be more a reference to foreign policy problems of other countries, meant mostly for domestic consumption in the speakers own country; many ordinary Finns considered the term highly offensive.
In 1961 the world had once more suffered from mounting tension over Berlin with building of the wall, and since August the Soviet Union had been conducting a series of 50 nuclear tests on the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya, reaching its peak in a final gigantic 50-megaton blast (See: "Tsar Bomba", at http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Russia/Sovwarhead.html
). Finland was then preparing for her next elections for the Office of the President of the Republic, for the six-year term beginning in 1962. Dr Urho Kaleva Kekkonen was serving his first term in Presidency since 1956, now running for his second one. He had a serious challenger in Mr Olavi Honka, the Chancellor of Justice.
Mr Andrei Gromyko, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., submitted an official note to Mr Eero A. Wuori, the Ambassador of Finland in Moscow on 30th October 1961. It shocked the nation as soon as it became public. The Soviet Note suggested consultations “on measures to secure the defence of the borders of both countries against the threat of a military attack presented by Western Germany and the states allied with it”, in accordance with the FCMA Treaty.
To everyone’s relief, in the negotiations between President Kekkonen and the Soviet Premier Nikita Sergeyevich Khruschev in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk on 24th November, the crisis was finally resolved on political level without the need of formal FCMA consultations. The dramatic circumstances caused the major contestant, Mr Olavi Honka, to withdraw his candidacy for the Presidency, which was decisive for the outcome of the election campaign and secured Dr Kekkonen’s continued grip on power in Finland. This gave rise to later persistent political speculations about “a note made to order”, although the message was likely to come from the supreme Soviet military lead, expressing their non-confidence in Finland’s capability for national defence in the long-lasting poor material situation. Be it as it may, the Soviet Union certainly wanted continuity to Dr Kekkonen’s foreign policy, which set the highest priority in maintaining good relations with the U.S.S.R.
In later years, there was repeated Soviet pressure on Finland culminating in insistent demands for joint military exercises in the spirit of the FCMA Treaty in 1978, but President Kekkonen simply dismissed Soviet attempts at bringing up the topic. These negotiations never leaked to the media at the time, and serious damage to Finland’s international political status was avoided.
One of the consequences of the Note Crisis of 1961 was the determined rebuilding of Finland’s neglected post-war national defence, with priority on air defence. It led to the procurement of a squadron of MiG-21F-13 fighters, which lifted Finland's air defence on a new level of sophistication and effectiveness, the Army received T-54 and T-55 tanks and Soviet artillery pieces, the Navy obtained a number of small warships suited for the coastal defence, and more modern equivalents for all of these followed in the course of years. The arsenal of Finland was in value roughly one third from the East, one third from the West, and one third domestic production. The Finnish military had a pragmatic professional attitude in trying to get the most out of it, regardless of the origin.