Finnish MEP Henrik Lax has strongly condemned Finnish government and presidential inaction on the Georgia crisis, and has warned that the country is underestimating the level of threat that now exists in north-eastern Europe. Via Helsingin Sanomat (my tr.):
The Georgia crisis shows how easily a small country can become the victim of pressure if it is militarily weak, Lax said.
He demanded that the government should answer the question of what the mantra of independent and credible defence means in a situation where military technology is developing at a hectic rate and costs are rising.
"This is a fundamental question which has not been answered yet," Lax said.
Without mentioning names, Lax also said that the government and president were underestimating the situation. The Georgia crisis is a serious one, but it took three weeks before a meeting of UTVA (Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy) was called.
"It was more important to be in Beijing. That says something about our political climate," Lax said.
He also had harsh words for the "psychologizing" of the rather stern conclusions drawn by Estonians on the Georgian situation. r example, President Tarja Halonen said last week on YLE's A-Studio TV that Estonians were suffering from post-Soviet stress.
If we go on like this, we should not wonder that voices in Brussels have started to talk once again about Finlandization, Lax said. He personally considered that Estonians have a more realistic idea of the Russian government than do the Finns.