The revisions introduced to the military doctrine of Russia came as no surprise to Finland, Carl Haglund (SFP), the Minister of Defence, has estimated.
Approved by President Vladimir Putin on Friday, the revised doctrine identifies the increasing military presence of Nato in Eastern Europe as one of the most significant security threats faced by Russia.
“This changes nothing in Finland, [but] it doesn't mean that we aren't awake. It has become obvious over the past 12 months that the approach of Russia has become more aggressive,” Haglund said.
He reminded that the actions of Nato can, to some extent, be attributed to the actions of Russia in Ukraine. “This is beginning to resemble the Cold War. An action leads to another. We've witnessed this cycle for some time,” he said.
Haglund on Saturday also reminded that he has yet to fully peruse the doctrine, the previous edition of which dated back to 2010.
“This isn't terribly different from the previous military doctrine of President Dmitry Medvedev. An approach such as this is rather an expected update in light of this year's events,” Haglund said, referring to the hostilities in Ukraine.
“Russia has shown that, if necessary, it's prepared to resort to military force to defend its own interests. Although we must take that into consideration, we must also emphasise that we don't feel that the growing Russian aggression has targeted Finland,” he added.
“Russia has pursued its new military policy for some time. We should have noticed it during the Russo—Georgian War of 2008. At the time, it was swept under the rug to some extent.”
Russia in its new military doctrine expresses its concerns over the development of Nato's missile defence system, estimating that the defence alliance could defy the international legal system and assume more international responsibilities.
Teemu Luukka – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
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Photo: Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva