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Soviet Union


The central factor in Scandinavian relations with the Soviet Union is the proximity of Norway, Sweden, and Finland to major Soviet bases on the Kola Peninsula (see fig. 6). Besides Turkey, Norway is the only NATO country bordering the Soviet Union.

The interrelated Soviet objectives in Scandinavia have been to maintain freedom of navigation through the Baltic Sea into the North Sea, sustain the neutrality of Finland and Sweden, and encourage Norway, Denmark, and Iceland to withdraw from NATO. The Scandinavian states act to minimize the Soviet security threat through a mix of military preparedness and nonprovocative, accommodationist policies. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden do not allow the stationing of foreign troops, the establishment of foreign military bases, or the installation of nuclear weapons on their territory. Sweden's neutrality has been based on the concept of total national defense, which stresses involvement of the civilian population, as well as military forces, in defending territorial integrity. Since the 1970s, Sweden has been concerned about repeated Soviet submarine incursions into its territorial waters. Finland's "positive neutrality" is based on a special relationship with the Soviet Union codified in their 1948 Treaty of Mutual Assistance and Cooperation.

Data as of May 1989