Letter: Russians in Finland

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The Independent Online
Sir: Jonathan Eyal's interesting article ('Russia behaves, but for how long?', 2 September) on Russian withdrawal from the Baltic States contains a glaring omission, that of Karelia taken from neutral Finland in March 1940, and retaken after further conflict in the autumn of 1944.

The term 'Baltic States' in the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was always to include Finland. Despite the disastrous failure of half a million Soviet troops to conquer Finland and impose a puppet Communist regime on its people, the Soviet annexation of 10 per cent of Finland's territory remains to this day.

The 50th anniversary of the end of Finnish-Soviet conflicts falls on 19 September, and I would guess that not a few Finns are wondering whether a gesture is now appropriate from the new, friendly Russia.

Yours sincerely,

R. P. HEINEMANN

Reading, Berkshire

2 September

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