Was the debate about ”Finlandization” blocked in January 1993 and why did the media keep silent about Kalevi Sorsa’s KGB background?
Former Swedish diplomat and expert of international law, Bo Theutenberg reveals that Kalevi Sorsa’s working group of the Socialist International on disarmament was ruled by the Soviet Communist Party in order to create splits Nato and the Western countries, as Dr. Alpo Rusi writes in Iltalehti (29.10.2018). The conclusion is based on Theutenberg’s book about his Diaries (UD Dagbok, vol 4) covering the years 1981-85 when serving the Swedish Foreign Ministry over twenty years as a leading advisor on issues of international law.
Theutenberg is critical of both countries’ social democrats for their disarmament policies in the 1980's for following the orders of Moscow. He has made very fruitful researches about the activities of the KGB and Stasi Espionage in Sweden to strengthen his arguments. There was a Stasi spy in the governing council of SIPRI
Theutenberg has produced altogether 4 volumes, 3000 pages about his diaries added with relevant documents and material about the newspapers. It has been said in Sweden that no serious research about her foreign and security policy can be made about the 1970's and 1980's without these volumes.
Both Finland and Sweden were targeted by the Soviet union during the early 1980's as a result of the new crisis of the Cold War. A Soviet submarine sailed to the rocks in the archipelago close to Karlskorna on October 28, 1981 which caused a political conflict between Sweden and the Soviet union. Theutenberg is reviewing the incident, and letting the Finns be informed about it in Helsinki in January 1982. In his view the incident was connected to the role of Nato in the Baltic sea region. A warning, perhaps, that Sweden should avoid approaching Nato.
In June 1982, also the Finns were warned when a submarine was detected in the archipelago of the Aland islands thus disregarding the international treaty about neutrality and demilitarisation of the islands. Theutenberg describes the conflict between the foreign minister of Finland Pär Stenbäck and his own ministry concerning the openness of the incident. Stenbäck was ready to reveal the truth, that the submarine was a Soviet by origin, but the FM preferred not to say anything for sure.
In Sweden, Olof Palme of Social democrats returned to power on October 22, 1982 replacing a non-socialist government by Torbjörn Fälldin. Same day a new submarine incident took place but Palme who was a chairman of Palme commission on disarmament and security did not want to continue Fälldin’s openly critical Soviet policy. Theutenberg disagrees.
Theutenberg’s book is interesting to the Finnish readers for it discusses the Finnish-Swedish cooperation and relationship. A number of Finnish diplomats and politicians are dealt with in the book. Most of them get neutral or positive marks. There is one exception in the rule, former Prime Minister Kalevi Sorsa, who is under careful scrutiny of his role in the Socialist International. Among the Swedish diplomats, Theutenberg is very critical are state secretary Pierre Schori and Sven Hirdman for their uncritically pro-Soviet attitudes.
Theutenberg describes Sorsa as a man of Moscow based on Sovet archives and statements of KGB defectors. In January 1980 the head of the international department of the CPSU Boris Ponomarev urges the East German communist party SED to influence Sorsa to launch a campaign in the West to split Nato on the double decision on SS-20 middle-range missiles of the Soviet union. A Member of the SED politburo Herman Axen met in Helsinki in February Prime Minister Mauno Koivisto and Sorsa. Both parties agreed a communique that condemned the double decision of Nato and expressed their support to the peace initiatives of the Soviet union.
Theutenberg has used former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukowsky’s findings in the archives of the Soviet Communist Party in 1992 containing documents about Sorsa who is described a ”confidential contact” of the KGB (or CPSU) and who is supported by the KGB residentura in Helsinki in a special order in August 1982. Theutenberg has also studied Sorsa’s rise to the SPD’s party secretary in 1969 by using both CIA as well as other secret reports.
Bukowsky had handed his findings about Sorsa to the leading media houses in Helsinki in January 1993 but not one of them published anything but Ilta-Sanomat in July 1993 a minor story that did not cause any national debate. Sorsa had lost presidential pre-elections of his party in May 1993. One can ask whether the media houses contacted by Bukovski were unwilling to cast a shadow over the presidential candidate Sorsa who himself had been preparing for that job already since 1970's? Finland lost a major opportunity to discuss Finlandization early 1990s. No doubt this has been difficult until today. It has been said that one can not take the reports of former KGB or Stasi agents seriously. Better not to lose time with any debate related to Finlandization. Today as a hybrid warfare is a fact of life this argument sounds strange if not careless.
A contrafactual writing of history is needed to avoid mistakes made in the past. Was it possible for Finland to avoid the Winter War with a more realistic diplomacy, will remain a puzzle for sure. Another question is, would it have been possible for Finland to get rid of Germany latest in 1943 or early 1944 and avoid the the strategic offensive of the Red Army in the summer 1944?
"The more you understand the world, the higher your chance of shaping it".
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Valtiotieteen tohtori, suurlähettiläs, tasavallan presidentin entinen neuvonantaja, professori ja kirjailija.
Kirjoituksia saa lainata. Lähde on mainittava.