The Financial Times has published many articles this week on Trump-Putin meeting. In todays’ paper they write: “On Monday, he travels to Helsinki to meet Mr Putin. He joins Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, and champion of “illiberal democracy”, and Matteo Salvini, Italy’s leading populist, in Mr Putin’s growing western fan club. The first time they met, which was almost exactly a year ago, Mr Trump agreed to set up a US-Russia task force on cyber security. That was like a chicken agreeing with the fox to patrol the night. Mr Trump’s advisers persuaded him to climb down. No one knows what the two leaders informally agreed.”
These comments send shivers down most people’s backs when we know that these 2 will be talking privately in Helsinki without others being opresent!
… and the FT continues in another long article about his involvement in the Toronto Trump Tower where Russian money has been invested in the project without any prudent due diligence as to the legality of the sources of this money. The FT writes on 12.7.2018: “Some of the money flows that the Financial Times has established raise questions about Trump’s vulnerability to undue influence now that he is in the White House. These include evidence that Trump’s billionaire partner in the Toronto project authorised a secret $100m payment to a Moscow-based fixer representing Kremlin-backed investors. That payment was part of a series of transactions that generated millions for the backers of the Toronto venture — a project that, in turn, made millions for the future president.”
Martin Wolf, the FT’s leading economic journalist wrote the following on 10.7.2018: “The leader of the world’s most powerful country is a dangerous ignoramus. So how should the rest of the world respond? What makes this so difficult to answer is that Donald Trump has created chaos. It is so difficult to negotiate with him because nobody knows what he and his team want. This is just not normal.”
Trump has insulted Germany at the Nato meeting by saying: “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia. We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that’s being paid to the country we’re supposed to be protecting you against.” Ms. Merkel replied: “I myself experienced a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union, and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany,” Ms. Merkel said as she entered the NATO building. “We decide our own policies and make our own decisions, and that’s very good.”
It is good that at least one important politician is polite and accurate because Trump was not accurate or even true! Attacking Germany, one of America’s biggest allies is unacceptable.
One wonders what he will say to Finland because we do import more energy products from Russia than Germany!
In the UK’s quality newspaper, The Guardian, one of Finland’s outstanding writers and commentators, Sofi Oksanen, wrote on 11.7.2018 in a column titled “A Soviet shadow looms over the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki”:
“When the news broke that a Putin-Trump summit would be held in Helsinki, some comments made my ears prick up. In the international media there was talk of Finland having been chosen as a venue because it is “neutral ground”, a country deemed to have a history of neutrality, and where east-west meetings had been held during the cold war. But Finland today is nothing of the sort. It is a member of the European Union. It is not somewhere in a grey zone between Europe and Russia… Dredging up phrases from the era of Finlandisation is unfortunate. Language shapes reality, and our recent history still makes Finland behave in a certain way. For example, Finland is not a member of Nato, and that may have something to do with Russia’s constant blustering, apparently convincing us that joining would bring the sky crashing down on our heads. Wearing a bridle such as this for decade after decade affects the language and the mindset of a people. We still don’t know which decisions made during that period were based on real threats or on self-censorship and delusion. These are the most treacherous consequences of Finlandisation….”
You may disagree with parts of what Ms. Oksanen writes about Russia because we are neighbours and neighbours must be able to get along. However, Finland is most definitely a western European country and we do have very clear views about Russia and its leaders as we do about the current leader of the USA. So nobody should be wasting their time about worrying about Finns. We have managed very well up to now, and enjoy one of the highest standard of livings in the world with a great welfare state and law abiding people and politicians, including our President… and of that we are justly proud!