Tarja Halonen, who served as President of Finland from 2000-2012, said in a recent interview that Finns know Russians better than Americans do. She also found that Estonia had no reason to frantically fear Russia.
In an interview with daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian), Halnen said that Estonia was definitely in a safe place. "You are in the EU and NATO and thus not only are you sheltered, but you have become an independent and fully-fledged state," she said. "This is why we tell you occasionally to calm down and that it isn't worth being panicked. Which does not mean, of course, that we would say that there is no reason to be concerned when looking toward Russia."
The former Finnish president noted that Finns understand Russians better than Americans do. "They have never really had the rule of law, human rights and democracy, which is why it is difficult to build it up," she explained. "They are trying to achieve it somehow, but this is difficult work."
Editor: Aili Vahtla