Gekht A. B. To the question of negotiations of Finland and the Nordic countries leadership in Stockholm on 18-19 october 1939 and its consequences for Sweden (.pdf)

 

The article focuses on the negotiations of Finland and the Scandinavian countries’ political leadership in Stockholm on 18-19 October 1939 and its important consequences for Sweden. The author states that a new stage in the political cooperation of Sweden and Finland started in the beginning of October 1939. On October, 4, the Finnish Foreign Minister Elias Erkko took the initiative to resume negotiations on the Åland question, focusing on the use of the Swedish armed forces in protection of the archipelago. Possible Soviet occupation of the archipelago would mean a threat to Stockholm and a risk of the Soviet invasion of Sweden. Therefore, to avoid this, it was necessary to participate in the defense of the Åland Islands, and the opinion was supported by the Swedish Foreign Minister Rickard Sandler. At the same time, there was another point of view in Swedish government, which stated that the participation in the Åland archipelago defense could lead to the retraction in the war. The basis for such a position was concern that the Soviet Union would negatively perceive any preventive actions in Finland from the Swedish side. Sweden’s Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson shared this view. meeting of the prime ministers and foreign ministers of Finland and the Scandinavian countries on 18-19 October, 1939 took place in Stockholm. Mostly under the Prime Minister’s influence, the Swedish government refused to provide military aid to the Finnish side in the defense of the Åland Islands. The contradictions between Hansson and Sandler led to the threat of a vote of no confidence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, a supporter of assistance to Finland which was a threat of a political crisis in Sweden.

 

Key words: the Åland Islands, the Baltic sea region, history of Swedish-Finnish political relations.

 

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