Finland could very well be on Putin's list in the not too distant future, if he is not stopped by the West:
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest ex-advisers has claimed that the ex-KGB agent wants to reclaim Finland as Western fears surround Russian manoeuvre in Eastern Europe.
Andrej Illiaronov, Putin's economic adviser between 2000 and 2005 and now senior member of the Cato Institute think tank, said that "parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership."
"Putin's view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors," he added.
When asked if Putin wishes to return to the Russia under the last Tsar Nicholas II, Illiaronov answers: "Yes, if it becomes possible."
Illiaronov admits that Finland is not Putin's primary concern at present but, if not stopped beforehand in other areas of Eastern Europe, the issue will arise in the future.
"Putin said several times that the Bolsheviks and Communists made big mistakes. He could well say that the Bolsheviks in 1917 committed treason against Russian national interests by providing Finland's independence," Illiaronov told a Swedish news website.
Illiaronov could very well be right. Just remember what Putin said in a speech to the Russian Military Historical Society not too long ago:
Russian President Vladimir Putin says that the Soviet Union launched the Winter War with Finland in order to “correct mistakes” that had been made when Finland gained its independence in 1917.
For some strange reason - a relict from the era of Finlandization? - a clear majority of Finns are still against joining NATO. Time for President Niinistö and some of the county's other top politicians to start educating their voters?