Iivi Anna Masso, one of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ advisers, said to Finnish broadcasting company YLE that the public perception about the Ukraine crisis in Finland is often wrong.
According to Masso, it’s not only about what politicians or statesmen say, but also in regards to discussions in media and the social media.
“Finns think that the Ukraine crisis will pass fast. Russia will normalize again and everything will continue as before. But the Estonian viewpoint is to think that if the international rules have been broken, we are in a situation where we don’t know what comes next,” Masso told YLE.
Masso said that it was noticeable right from the start of the Ukraine crisis that the Finnish perception was what can be described as “if we behave as we are supposed to, nothing bad can happen to Finland.”
“Right at the beginning, an argument was raised that if Finland takes good care of its Russian minority, which is small in Finland, and treats them well, then there is no danger to the country. But I would like to remind that Ukraine did not mistreat its Russian minority, the Crimea annexation was not prompted by mistreatment,” Masso said.
“It is also a deceptive way of thinking in a sense that the security situation in Europe would not concern us, because we are doing everything right. It is like blaming the victim, in a sense,” Masso added.
Masso said that Estonians reckon that if something happens elsewhere in the world, it can also happen in Estonia. “We cannot be as confident and say that it will not happen in our country; this is a prevailing way of thinking in Estonia.”
Editor: S. Tambur