Radical suggestion: Joint Finnish — Estonian volunteer corps

Petri Mäkelä
May 10, 2017 · 3 min read
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Finnish bush

Several journalists have reported that the government, the president and the parliament in Finland are disagreeing on whether or not Finland should militarily help Estonia and the rest of the Baltic states if they come under a military attack by Russia. The politicians are divided as some of the politicians argue that Finland should not participate in any military action outside of its own borders. These politicians think that there is a possibility for Finland to stay neutral in a conflict between NATO and Russia that will engulf the entire region.

The Russian stance on Finland is evident when we look at the threat scenarios Russia plays in their exercises. Finland is clearly marked as a hostile force in the accompanying photo that was taken in a recent air defense exercise.

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See the arrow coming from Finland

Unlike their Finnish counterparts the Estonian politicians have no problems at declaring their support for Finland. Estonian defense minister Margus Tsahkna stated that there is no doubt that Estonia will come to Finland’s aid if needed.

As a radical departure from the consensus of not speaking out on defense policy the youth arm of the populist Finns party issued a press statement today. Organization was justly worried about the discussion about the military aid to Estonia. They are justly claiming that Finland is obliged to help the Estonian brothers in their time of need just because of our common history.

The Finns Party Youth is going as far as suggesting that Finland and Estonia should establish joint volunteer units manned with reservists that would train to assist the whichever of the two nations is in need. This also highlights the difference between the pro-Russian populists in Europe and the Finns Party.

The readiness and the defensive capabilities in Finland have improved in the recent years. It is alarming, that the political will and the legislation are lagging behind despite the recent advances in the intelligence legislation.

Here is the English translation of the Finns Party Youth press release:

“Finland and Estonia must strengthen their defense cooperation
The Finns Party Youth

The Finns Party Youth wants Finland to increase its defense cooperation with Estonia. The organization is concerned about the recent discussion in Finland about the country’s role in aiding Estonia in a military conflict. The Finns Party Youth views Estonia and its people a brother nation to Finland, and wants to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.

“Finnish volunteers fought alongside Estonians in the Estonian Liberation War. The victory of the war gave Estonia its independence and prevented the communists’ imperialistic goal for tyranny. There are still many people in Finland who would be willing to volunteer to defend our neighbor country — I myself am one of them. Finland must help Estonia in a military conflict”, demands Samuli Voutila, chairman for the Finns Party Youth.

The Finns Party Youth suggests the formation of Finnish-Estonian voluntary forces. These forces would be under both Finnish and Estonian defense forces’ command, cooperate in educating volunteers and coordinate regional defense, should the need arise. These forces would also prevent the growing threat of Russia on the soil of both lands.

“We could not merely stand by in a military crisis if Estonia and its people were under attack. To not participate would send a harsh message to our brothers and sisters. The Finno-Ugric culture is best defended by the people of these countries together”, states Juha Karjalainen, vice chairman for the Finns Party Youth.”

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