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Finlandization is an expression coined during the Cold War to express the process of turning into a country which get a too close relationship (in the speaker's point of view) with the Soviet Union - similar to that of Finland.

Between 1947 and 1989, Finland was a country which was independent in its internal affairs with a liberal democracy[?], however, its external relations were influenced by the necessity to maintain good relations with the Soviet Union (USSR). As a result Finland did not oppose Soviet overseas initiatives, refreained from the Marshall Plan, and avoided belonging to both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It was a persistent fear of U.S. foreign policy experts, that Western Europe would be Finlandized, and there subsequently would be a situation in which Western Europe no longer supported the United States nor opposed the Soviet Union.

The concept of "Finlandization" in foreign policy indicates how a nation could make a deal with the Soviet Union without loosing its sovereignty. Finland cut such a deal with the USSR in the late 1940s, basically reverting to her 19th century traditions. Finland did not challenge USSR's foreign policy, but exerted to keep her independence. Authorities on Finnish foreign relations often argue, that proponents of the Finlandization-term persistently failed to mention, that Finland had achieved its negotiating position after successfully fending of military attacks of the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War. If Finland had attempted to get a "Finlandization" deal in the 1930s or 1920s, she might likely have wound up like Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania at the time.

See also: Satellite state, Balkanization, Pakkoruotsi

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